CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s census report paper records for 191 patients were stolen from an employee’s car in Dallas. The information was reportedly stolen from the employee’s car during a stoppage on the way to the office. Employee notified Dallas Police Department about the theft.
Employees have been known to take patient information out but certain steps are required to be followed to protect the information according to CaroMont spokeswoman Dallas Paddon.
Patient names, dates of birth, medical record number, and the reason for the hospital visits were the information present on the report. The census report was single printed document. CaraMount notified the affected patients. They are advised to monitor their credit and contact Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax because of possible financial information misuse. CaraMount didn’t mention the reason behind it.
Donnetta Horseman, CaroMont’s corporate responsibility officer, issued a statement about the theft Wednesday, “Upon learning of the unauthorized disclosure, we conducted a thorough investigation with the staff person and appropriate disciplinary actions were taken.”
The staff member has been disciplined and staff is being reeducated on patient information disclosure and CaroMont’s Notice of Privacy Practices as per CaraMount. But it was not made clear why the employee had the report in his or her car.
Previous year information from 1,310 patients with CaroMont Medical Group was sent through an unsecured email. Email included information names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, dates of service, medical record number, diagnonses, medication, and insurance company names, as well as two patients’ Medicare numbers.
Around 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other storage equipment. With the critical information at stake, many companies also use encrypted laptops/computers for storing records which is also stored in binder. With the misplaced or stolen laptops same as paper record can cause serious security concerns. To secure records or computers related stringent procedures should be followed.
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