Public Notice: Breach of Patient Privacy Information
On March 26, 2014, Trinity Mother Frances Hospital and Clinics (TMFHC) was notified by the Fire Department of the City of Mesquite, Texas that, as the result of a report of a fire, approximately 450 TMFHC radiology x-ray jackets were found on March 25, 2014 in a neighborhood field generally used as a dumping area. Promptly after the call from the Mesquite Fire Department, TMFHC recovered the x-ray jackets, removed them from the field and moved them to a secure location where they are now properly stored awaiting final disposition. While we are still investigating how this incident occurred, we found that a third party vendor with whom TMFHC had contracted, Heavyweight Services, located in Spring, Texas, erroneously retrieved the x-ray jackets from our record storage facility intending to properly destroy them. TMFHC no longer uses Heavyweight Services.
The dates on the x-ray jackets are between the years of 1989 to 2007 for patients who were minors (children under the age of 17 years old) at that time and received x-rays at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. The x-ray jackets may have contained the patient’s first and last name, physician name, date of service, date of birth, TMFHC’s internal medical record number, type of x-ray and a general x-ray report. No Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, credit card information or any other financial information were on the x-ray jackets. A very small number of x-ray jackets contained x-ray film as the majority of the films had been removed from the paper jackets prior to their retrieval from the record storage facility.
TMFHC is providing this public notice to patients who may have had x-rays taken at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler between the years of 1989-2007, who were under the age of 17 at that time, and who have questions regarding whether their information was affected. We have not received any indication that the information on the x-ray jackets has been used by an unauthorized individual. The x-ray jackets are back in TMFHC’s possession and are being properly stored.
We are keenly aware of how important your personal information is to you. TMFHC has contracted with ID Experts® to answer questions regarding this incident and to assist callers with determining if their information was affected. Callers with questions or inquiries can call ID Experts at 1-877-853-3842 or by going online at www.myidcare.com/xrayconfirmation. ID Experts is available Monday through Friday from 8 am - 8 pm Central Time and will be happy to answer your questions.
We believe that the risk of identity theft is low based on the information contained on these x-ray jackets. However, if your information was affected, you should be alert to any unusual or unauthorized credit activity. TMFHC also recommends patients review any explanations of benefits to ensure that the services reflected were in fact received by you.
We at TMFHC take patient privacy very seriously. We reviewed our policies and procedures regarding records removal and made adjustments to ensure incidents such as this do not happen in the future. We regret that this situation has occurred and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and concern this may cause you.