I’m not a fan of postcard appointment reminders for patients, as they expose the fact that the named individual is a patient of a particular doctor or practice – and sometimes, that, in and of itself, reveals more than I would want to see revealed. But under HIPAA, postcard reminders are not barred, and patients are free to indicate what mode of communication they want a covered entity to use: email, phone, etc.
This week, it was revealed that a Vancouver medical imaging center inadvertently disclosed the names of more than 600 patients to other patients when they mailed postcard appointment reminders. Marissa Harshman reports:
On Dec. 30, Vancouver Radiologists mailed 603 mammogram appointment reminder postcards to its patients. On Jan. 4, the company discovered an error was made while preparing the mailing labels.
The postcards were mailed to patients at their addresses but with another patient’s name on the label. The postcards included the incorrect patient name, the name of Vancouver Radiologists and a reminder that it was time to schedule an annual mammogram.
Read more on The Columbian.