Hospitals Are Throwing Sensitive Patient Information Out With the Recycling

Kristen V. Brown reports:

…. Researchers conducted a “recycling audit” of five hospitals in Toronto between November 2014 and May 2016 and found that frequently hospitals improperly threw out sensitive patient information. All the hospitals had policies designed to get rid of confidential patient health information without potentially exposing it, along with shredders to get the job done. And yet, when researched collected hospital recycling three times a week over a four week period, they found a total of 2,687 documents with personally identifiable information, often documents like clinical notes and medical reports. They describe their findings in a new letter published in the journal JAMA.

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