Main Street Clinical Associates, PA., in Durham, NC has contacted certain patients that some of their protected health information was stored on devices that were illegally taken from its offices.
The theft took place when the Main Street offices had been evacuated due to a bad gas explosion. Workers at the office were ordered to evacuate the building on April 10, 2019 following an explosion in an nearby building. Files and equipment were left on desks due to the urgent evacuation, and the room including patient records was left unlocked. The damage to the building was thorough. Employees were not permitted to re-enter the building until September 9, 2019. When the staff came back, it was discovered the offices had been looted and equipment had been stolen. Two laptop computers had been removed, along with the cell phone of a clinician, and a printer containing some patient data.
Main Street released a recent press release to say that the laptop computers and cell phone were password-secured, as were files that included patient information. Since they devices were not encrypted, it is possible that patient information could have been obtained. The devices held information such as names, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, and diagnosis and treatment data.
Main Street has changed passwords to stop patient information from being accessed and is searching for any attempted misuse of the devices. Patients known to have had their information exposed, for whom up to date contact information is held, are being contacted by mail. Since it was not possible to find out exactly which patients have been affected, several media outlets have also been alerted about the breach.
Loyola Medicine Alerts Patients in Relation to Theft of Autopsy Photos
Loyola Medicine in Maywood, IL has revealed that a camera containing autopsy photographs has been stolen from Loyola University Medical Center. The camera included images of 18 deceased patients. Photographs of nine of those people had not been uploaded to the patient’s’ medical record files and have been forever lost.
A CBS 2 report revealed that the photographs had not been uploaded to the hospital system as a new camera had been bought and it was not supplied with a cable to allow the photographs to be uploaded, so they were still on the memory card.
According to a representative for Loyola Medicine, steps have been taken to stop further breaches of this nature from occurring, including providing additional training for staff and improving physical security.
The relatives of the deceased patients have now been notified of the loss of photographs and the privacy breach has been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.