700+ patients' medical records lost, possibly destroyed

More than 700 Lane County Health and Human Services patients' medical records were transferred to a document storage facility last fall. County health officials are alerting those patients that their records, now, can't be found.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 4:27 AM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 2:27 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Lane County Health and Human Services announced the loss of 49 boxes containing patient and client information Tuesday night.

The boxes contained 566 Community Health Centers of Lane County patient medical information files and 149 Lane County Developmental Disabilities client files. Those files included medical histories, addresses, contact information and social security numbers.

During a routine search, June 19, staff was unable to locate the records, which had been temporarily relocated by a moving company to a storage facility during the renovation of the Charnelton Clinic. Follow-up searches by multiple teams also failed to locate the files.

The records may have been inadvertently destroyed as part of a routine document management practice for non-medical records, the department said. However, that can’t be verified at this time.

Tuesday the department sent written notification to all patients and clients whose records could not be located and had up-to-date contact information.

The department said they have reviewed their record storage practices and are taking steps to prevent future incidents, including obtaining specialized, secure medical records storage services.

Investigators have not determined how the records were misplaced at this time, but there is no indication they were stolen or that the information has been compromised.

The department said they encourage patients to regularly review financial statements and credit reports. They will also reimburse patients for up to six months of membership to an accredited credit monitoring service.

Patients can check credit reports online at annualcreditreport.com, experian.com, transunion.com or equifax.com.

If unusual activity is detected, patients should call the incident hotline at 1-833-404-0027, as well as the appropriate authorities.

Updates can be found by visiting lanecounty.org/departments/hhs/HIPAAUPDATE.

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