Hospital HIM Department Loses Paper Records

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Jackson Health System in Miami has notified 1,407 patients that their paper medical records have been lost.

The records, missing since January from the health information management department, were in transit to be electronically scanned or were being returned when they disappeared, according to a Jackson Health notice. The public health system said there was no breach of Social Security numbers or financial information, but affected patients are being offered paid credit and identity protection services. “We hold ourselves accountable anytime a patient’s information is illegally or inappropriately accessed, which is why we are offering this free credit and identity protection as a precaution,” a spokesperson tells Health Data Management.

This is not the first data breach for Jackson Health. The Miami Herald reported that a volunteer at North Jackson Medical Center was caught taking photos of more than 500 patient records last year, and an employee in 2011 stole information on about 1,800 patients. Those incidents are not listed in the HHS Office for Civil Rights list of major breaches. On the list, however, is an October 2009 breach, resulting from unauthorized access of electronic health records that affected 1,562 patients.

Security improvements being implemented, according to Jackson Health CEO Carlos Migoya, include management approval for release of boxes of paper records, training in procedures for responding to missing medical documents and installation of security cameras in HIM areas.

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