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Tulsa Medical Records Turn Up On Ponca City Newspaper Loading Dock
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:12:04 -0400

http://www.newson6.com/story/21476118/tulsa-medical-records-turn-up-on-ponca-city-newspaper-loading-dock

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Imagine finding a stack of someone's medical records, with all their
personal and private information. That's what happened to a stack of
records from Tulsa's Saint Francis Hospital.

The records showed up in Ponca City, and it might have gone unnoticed,
except for where they were found - on the loading dock of the local
newspaper.

The story made the front page, above the fold, in the Friday edition
of thePonca City News. A 3-inch tall stack of medical records turned
up there - in a stack of pallets shipped from a recycling operation
near Tulsa.

A pressman for the newspaper found them.

"They were printouts and the big stack of them was
electrocardiograms," said Tony Smith, pressman.

The records came from Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, and appear to
come from an outpatient cardiology department. Smith says the records
were from multiple patients and were all recent.

"The records were dated February 3rd of this year," he said, "And it
had the patients history, whether they smoked or not, a different name
on a different page, and their patient identification numbers."

The lost records that were created at Saint Francis in Tulsa
apparently went to a recycler in Sand Springs first, from there to the
office of the newspaper in Ponca City.

GreenStar Recycling provides secure shredding services for medical
offices - but usually the records are in locked containers from start
to finish.

Saint Francis Hospital didn't make anyone available for an interview,
but sent this statement:

"Patient confidentiality is of utmost concern and an investigation is
underway to determine how the documents were found outside the secure
handling process."

The newspaper turned over the records to a representative from Saint
Francis Friday. The hospital says they'll notify all the affected
patients about their lost confidentiality.

A representative from GreenStar said they are participating in the
investigation.
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