TX: State mental hospitals faulted for patient privacy breaches

Andrea Ball reports:

A Big Spring State Hospital employee was fired last week after officials say she walked out of the psychiatric facility with 50 patients’ protected health records.

A folder containing 47 pages of personal health information — including names, diagnoses and treatments — was discovered in a public trash bin off campus. It was at least the fifth time in six months that sensitive personal records have made their way out of the state’s 10 public psychiatric facilities, according to documents obtained by the American-Statesman.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story is behind a paywall. The Associated Press summarizes the article, however, by reporting:

In the other cases, which involved a total of about a dozen patients, officials determined that the breaches were caused by mistakes.

Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, says her agency is doing all it can to figure out what happened and to find ways to fix the problem.

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