Oregon State Hospital + employee's car + unattended files = when the heck will people learn?!

The Oregon State Hospital today notified patients that printed documents containing protected patient information were among items stolen from an Oregon State Hospital supervisor’s car on Friday, April 13th.

There were three sets of documents taken, two of which included protected patient information:

1. A printed list of the names, hospital identification numbers, treating physicians and the location of approximately 550 patients housed at the hospital in March. Under federal privacy laws, this information is protected patient information. The list did not contain any information about the patient’s diagnosis or medical history.

2. Approximately 20 progress notes, which had a greater level of detail, including the patients’ dates of birth and health information, such as diagnoses. The progress notes were selected from a random sample of approximately 291 patients.

3. A notebook belonging to the supervisor containing day-to-day work notes.

The Social Security numbers of the patients were not compromised, and no electronic patient information was involved.

OSH staff members are meeting with all patients to inform them of the loss of the documents. The hospital has been unable to identify the names of the patientswhose progress notes were pulled in the random sample, so all 291 will be notified of this potential release of information.

While patient records are secured at the two sites at the state hospital, the incident does point to vulnerabilities when transporting patient information. To that end, Superintendent Roberts has called for a thorough review of all policies and procedures guiding the transportation of patient records and will be making recommendations to increase the safety of patient records.

Patients and their guardians who have questions should talk to their treatment teams or call 1-800-442-5238 (TTY 711).

Source: Oregon Health Authority

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