Health Information Management

Former hospital employee walks off with records

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 15, 2014

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A former employee of Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, California, removed ED logs containing the PHI of approximately 6,500 patients from the medical center without permission August 8, according to a press release.

 
The former employee placed the records at the bottom of a cart he used when transporting his personal belongings from the hospital to his vehicle. The hospital used the logs in an onsite regulatory review the day prior to the theft, according to the medical center website. The former employee took the records to the San Diego Office of the California Department of Public Health, which oversees California hospital regulations. Tri-City Medical Center was in contact with the California Department of Public Health following the unauthorized removal of the logs from its premises, according to a breach notification letter sent to affected patients.
 
The paper logs contained the full names, dates of service, dates of birth, admitting physicians, medical record numbers, diagnoses, and admit dates and times for patients admitted to the hospital or transferred to another facility from December 1, 2013, through May 13, 2014. The hospital alerted law enforcement officials of the incident, according to the press release.
 
This article originally appeared on HCPro’s HIPAA Update blog. Stay up to date on all things HIPAA by signing up for e-mail updates from this blog.



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