Man Finds Hospital Records in Dumpster
On November 20, 2008 WNDU in South Bend, Indiana reported that an anonymous man stated he had found patient records belonging to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in a dumpster near the hospital. The anonymous man provided copies of the documents to WNDU.
St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth, Indiana confirmed that the records are official documents of the hospital and patients have confirmed that the records are accurate. The hospital denies the records were found in a dumpster and is trying to figure out how these documents were obtained. The anonymous man states that the un-shredded documents he found in the dumpster included a doctor’s appointment book from 2004 and patient’s names and procedures.
The bottom line is the hospital records were found somehow. If the documents had been securely stored or destroyed there would not be a potential HIPAA problem for the hospital or potential identity theft from the patient records.