PUBLIC NOTICE: HIPAA Breach Notification
As required by the Department of Health and Human Services, SwedishAmerican Hospital is informing the public that on May 31, 2012, X-ray films were stolen from the hospital by an individual who misrepresented himself to be an employee of the vendor hired to pick up and destroy the films. The incident was discovered on June 1, 2012. Law enforcement authorities were immediately notified, and an investigation has now been completed.
The films may have contained patient names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and dates of service, but no social security numbers, financial or other sensitive information was included on the films. The stolen films represent less than 1 percent of the total images that SwedishAmerican produces in a single year.
In the course of investigating the theft, SwedishAmerican has learned of several similar incidents around the country. Thieves target X-ray films because they contain silver that can be extracted and sold. The extraction process destroys the film and any information contained thereon.
Because the films contain limited amounts of personal and medical information, and further because the films most likely have been destroyed, SwedishAmerican does not believe that substantial risk of identity theft or other harm will result from this incident. Nevertheless, SwedishAmerican has set up a toll-free number for patients to call and discuss any questions or concerns they may have about the theft and the films involved. The toll-free number is (888) 414-8020; enter the reference code 7926070912 when prompted. Additionally, concerned individuals may obtain a free copy of their credit report by visiting www.AnnualCreditReport.com, or by calling (877) 322-8228.
In addition to revising its policies and procedures, SwedishAmerican has reviewed broader security measures to provide additional safeguards against future occurrences of this nature at the hospital.
If additional information about the incident becomes available, it will be posted on SwedishAmerican Hospital's Web site, at www.swedishamerican.org.
Contact: Paul Greenland - (815) 961-2437