Health Information Management

Misplaced USB drive leads to county health department breach

HIM-HIPAA Insider, April 27, 2015

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The Denton County (Texas) Health Department began notifying tuberculosis (TB) clinic patients of a breach that occurred in February when a health department employee left a USB drive containing PHI at a printing store, according to a press release.

 
The USB drive contained the names, dates of birth, addresses, and test results of 874 patients seen at a TB clinic associated with the county health department. The employee left the USB drive unattended at the printing store for approximately one hour, according to the press release.
 
The department launched an internal investigation after the employee voluntarily reported the potential breach. The press release states that the department does not believe the records were accessed during the time the USB drive was left unattended. However, it is notifying affected patients by mail and recommending that they obtain a credit report and monitor financial statements.
 
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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