NY: Misrouted medical faxes bedevil family

Marcele Rojas reports:

Southeast resident Cathy Meyer reached her breaking point when she received a fax with a list of patients in Putnam Hospital Center’s psychiatric ward. The fax was from another department within the hospital, she said, seeking the patients’ medical charts.


For more than a year, Meyer has received dozens of faxes from laboratories, doctors’ offices, rehabilitation centers and other health agencies containing people’s medical and private information, including, in some cases, Social Security numbers.


In response to Meyer’s request, the Medical Records Department’s fax number was changed on Feb. 12 to 845-278-5642, said Tim Cleary, Health Quest’s director of corporate compliance and privacy. In addition, vendors, physicians’ offices and other health agencies have been notified of the new number, said Barbara Tufano, director of patient relations at the Carmel hospital.

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