Feb 212012
 

Ochsner is reporting yet another breach involving patient data:

Staff at Ochsner Medical Center say an external hard drive containing patients’ personal and medical information is missing from the West Bank campus.

The hard drive is designed to work with a bone density machine at the campus, and it was discovered missing Sunday.

“After an exhaustive physical search, the external drive could not be located,” reads a news release from Ochsner.  “As part of our commitment to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of our patients’ information, we immediately initiated an investigation.  Ochsner’s investigation revealed that the external hard drive is no longer in Ochsner’s possession.

“Unfortunately, we cannot precisely say what data was contained on the external hard drive,” the statement continues.  “The data may include patient names, addresses, date of birth, medical record number, medications, and pertinent medical history as it pertains to a bone density scan between November 2005 and January 2012.”

Read more on Fox8.

This is their third breach notice since December 2010. The first involved a contractor and the second involved a dishonest janitor.

Ochsner’s Feb. 20th media statement on the incident:

On January 19, 2012, Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus staff discovered that an external hard drive for the bone density machine was missing. After an exhaustive physical search, the external drive could not be located.

As part of our commitment to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of our patients’ information, we immediately initiated an investigation. Ochsner’s investigation revealed that the external hard drive is no longer in Ochsner’s possession.

Unfortunately, we cannot precisely say what data was contained on the external hard drive. The data may include patient names, addresses, date of birth, medical record number, medications, and pertinent medical history as it pertains to a bone density scan between November 2005 and January 2012. A bone density scan is a radiology exam that measures bone mass which is used as a screening tool for osteoporosis.

The above information and the results of the bone density scans are not lost. They are still a part of each patient’s medical record. The external hard drive for the bone density machine was used only to back up the data.

Because the data was stored in a proprietary format, Ochsner does not believe that it is possible to access the information simply by connecting the hard drive to a computer and opening the files. To access the information in a readable format, one would have to use various software applications. At this time we feel that there is minimal risk to patients’ personal information.

At Ochsner, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of our patients is our top priority. We deeply regret this occurrence and any inconvenience it may have caused. The protection of our patients’ private information is important to Ochsner Health System, and we are committed to maintaining and improving the security of our patients’ personal information.

Any Ochsner patient affected by this incident will receive a detailed notification letter from Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus. However, Ochsner urges any patients with questions or concerns regarding this notification or the letter they receive to please contact the Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus Patient Relations Department at 1-855-808-4104.

  One Response to “LA: Ochsner reports hard drive, patient records missing”

  1. 3 major breaches in essentially a year? Wow.

    I hope that somehow their number comes up in the OCR audit lottery. It sounds like they could use the help!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.