AR: X-Ray Films Stolen from Summit Medical Center

If Yogi Berra were writing this one up, he might say “It’s deja vu all over again.” Alicia Agent reports:

Van Buren Police are looking for two men who stole old radiology films from Summit Medical center. Police believe the men took the x-rays so they could be melted down for silver.

On August 12, less than 190 old radiology films were stolen by men posing as the hospital’s contractor assigned to pick up the films for disposal, according to Pam Tahan, CEO with Summit Medical Center.

“The men that came to pick-up the barrels, had on official looking uniforms and identification,” said Det. Jonathan Wear. “[The hospital] normally released that material during the day time; however this was at night time, so the employees were not familiar with how to release it.”

Summit sent letters notifying patients whose films were stolen about the incident. Summit officials say no patients’ social security numbers were on the films and that they have taken steps to see that this doesn’t happen again.

Theft of old x-rays for the value of the metal is not a new crime (see, for example, this report about a rash of thefts in Illinois). But even if the films are being stolen for their metal value, they still contain patient information and the breaches will necessitate notification. Hospitals need to spread the word to each other that they need to inform staff of the risk here and what to do to protect patient information.

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