Hospital loses nearly 2,300 patient data files

In the latest patient privacy incident to make news, Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., lost data cards that contained information on 2,284 endoscopy patients, the Arizona Republic reports. The search continues for memory cards that went missing from two endoscopy machines in October, according to the hospital.

The information on the data cards was for patients whose procedures took place between Jan. 1, 2008 and Oct. 12, 2010.

"We deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused and will do everything we can to help those who may have been affected," CEO Tony Marinello told the Republic. A Mountain Vista spokesperson added that hospital leaders have no evidence to suggest that information has been accessed or improperly used.

The compact memory cards included patient information such as names, dates of birth, ages, sex, types of procedures, dates and times of procedures, and procedure images. Social Security and credit card numbers, as well as addresses and telephone numbers were not on the data cards, according to the hospital's data incident notice.

Patients already have been notified of the incident and the hospital has offered one year of free credit monitoring services for those who may have been affected.

To prevent a repeat, hospital officials have revised security procedures related to storing compact memory data cards, modified the endoscopy machines so they no longer use compact memory data cards and retrained endoscopy unit employees on confidentiality and security procedures.

To learn more:
- read Mountain Vista Medical Center's notice
- here's the Arizona Republic's story

Related Articles:
10 egregious patient privacy breaches
Organized crime getting deeper into medical identity theft
Stolen Hopkins patient info used in $600K credit card fraud
Patient records found at dump
Stolen ER patient data prompts hospital to offer free credit