Mills-Peninsula Health Services in Burlingame, Calif., recently notified about 1,500 patients of a breach of their protected health information following the discovery of patient documents in an employee's home.

A relative of a mailroom employee at the hospital found the documents and returned them on June 17, according to a statement from Mills-Peninsula. The employee, since terminated, had taken home patient information between November 2009 and September 2010. "The employee said she took the records home because she wasn't keeping up with her work of providing copies of reports to doctors," according to the delivery system. "She intended to bring them back and send to the physicians when she had more time. The employee stated she did not read any of the reports or show them to anyone else."

The documents were medical reports and registration information and most contained patient names and diagnostic test results. Fifteen reports contained patient addresses and insurance identification numbers, which may have included Social Security numbers. Mills-Peninsula has confirmed that physicians received all critical information and does not believe the information was misused.

The delivery system has notified all affected patients and is offering one paid year of credit monitoring and identity protection services to patients whose registration information was among the documents.


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