Oregon agency loses boxed records of more than 700 patients

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Lane County Health & Human Services in Lane County, Oregon, is reporting that it’s lost the archived medical information of more than 700 patients.

The organization says 49 boxes—containing paper medical information files of 566 patients at Community Health Centers of Lane County, as well as records of 149 patients at Lane County Developmental Disabilities—can’t be found. Protected health information in the files included medical histories, addresses, contact information and Social Security numbers.

On June 19, staff members could not locate the records during a routine search. The records previously had been relocated by a moving company to a storage facility for temporary storage during renovation of a clinic, and multiple searches produced no results.

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The records may have been inadvertently destroyed as part of routine document management for non-medical records, according to the organization. But because destruction cannot be verified, written notification was sent to all affected patients on July 24.

An investigation could not determine how the records were misplaced, but there is no indication they were stolen or that the information they contained had been compromised. However, Lane County is encouraging patients to review financial statements and credit reports.

The organization will reimburse patients for six months of membership in a credit monitoring service and gave contact information for credit firms Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

As a result of the incident, Lane County executives say they are reviewing its policies and procedures for records storage and will contract for specialized secure medical records storage services.

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