December 14, 2010
An Arizona hospital has lost 2284 endoscopy patients’ electronic records, hospital CEO Tony Marinello admitted this week.
The Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, Az., discovered compact memory data cards were missing that contained personal information about patients who had undergone endoscopy procedures between January 2008 and October of this year, according to a report by the Arizona Republic.
The data loss included patients’ full names, date of birth, age, sex, medical information, and physician’s name. However, social security numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers were not on the lost data cards, according to the hospital.
"We deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused and will do everything we can to help those who may have been affected", said Marinello.
The hospital has contacted all of the patients affected by the data loss. They are being offered one year of credit monitoring service by the hospital.
"Hospital leadership has no evidence that information involved in the incident has been accessed or improperly used," said Audrianne Schneider, a spokeswoman for the hospital. "However, every precaution is being taken to reduce the potential risk of misuse of the information."
As noted by security experts in other data loss incidents, the organization would not likely have evidence that the information was being “improperly used” because the criminals would not tell them.
The hospital is also changing its security setup for compact memory data card storage and has removed the memory card option from endoscopy machines. All employees in the endoscopy unit are being retrained on security and confidentiality procedures.