Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth is notifying approximately 277,000 patients after old microfiche records that were to be destroyed were found in a Dallas park and at least two other public areas.

Affected patients were those admitted to the hospital between 1980 and 1990. Shred-it, a document description vendor, had been contracted to shred the records, which included names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, clinical and insurance information, and some Social Security numbers. Not all the records were found and Shred-it assured the hospital that remaining records were destroyed, but all patients associated with the records are being notified. All Texas Health hospitals have changed their document destruction vendor.

“We have no knowledge that any of the information included on the microfiche has been accessed or used inappropriately,” Harris Methodist says in a public notice. “Furthermore, microfiche is no longer commonly used and specialized equipment is needed to read the information it contains.” The hospital, citing “an abundance of caution,” is offering credit protection services.

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