Moffitt reviewing 492 patient records in privacy breach

Lindsay Peterson reports:

Moffitt Cancer Center is contacting 492 of its patients after learning an employee falsified at least one patient’s signature on a consent form for a cancer research study.

Moffitt discovered the falsification July 29, and immediately began looking into the records of 6,464 patients who are enrolled in the 4-year-old research study, called Total Cancer Care. Moffitt fired the employee, who has not been identified.

Moffitt CEO William S. Dalton said the study involved no patient treatment, only reviews of patients’ records. Nevertheless, federal patient privacy laws may have been violated.

Read more on Tampa Bay Online.

At the time of this posting, I do not see any statement on the center’s web site, and since the number being notified is currently less than 500, we may not see this incident on HHS’s web site, either. But this type of situation is a nightmare for all ethical research facilities and I commend them for their prompt response and willingness to talk to the media about this problem.

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