The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced today that a resident suing the hospital was in possession of confidential medical records of about 1,500 patients.
UAMS learned of the documents in October during the discovery process in preparing for Nasrin Fatemi's suit in federal court against UAMS for unlawful termination. She was fired in June 2010 after working at UAMS for six months. UAMS learned of more records Nov. 7. The hospital administration says the records are now sealed.
The records — which spokesperson Leslie Taylor said including patient notes and OR schedules that should not have been removed from the hospital premises — do not contain Social Security numbers, bank account or credit card information. They do include patient names, partial addresses, medical record numbers, dates of birth, ages, locations of care, dates of service, diagnoses, medications, surgical and other procedure information and lab results. Fatemi has sworn under oath that she has shown the records to no one except her lawyers.
Federal Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. signed in January 2011 a protective order sealing medical records previously produced in the case.
Press release on the jump.
UAMS Notifies Patients of Medical Records Breach
LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is notifying about 1,500 patients of a medical records breach involving a resident physician who was terminated in 2010.
UAMS recently discovered that the former resident doctor kept some patient lists and notes regarding patients in violation of UAMS policy after leaving UAMS on June 3, 2010. The documents this resident kept were from January 2010 to June 2010 and contained patient names, partial addresses, medical record numbers, dates of birth, ages, locations of care, dates of service, diagnoses, medications, surgical and other procedure names, and lab results. No social security, bank account, or credit card numbers were included with this information.
UAMS is notifying affected patients by mail and through its website. UAMS takes the privacy and security of its patients’ health information very seriously.
The UAMS HIPAA Office became aware of this incident Oct. 9, 2012, when the resident produced the documents during her lawsuit against UAMS regarding her termination from a residency program. On Nov. 7, 2012, UAMS became aware that additional documents the resident kept had been provided to UAMS attorneys June 25, 2012. The records are now protected by a court order, which prevents them from becoming a public record and will prevent anyone from further using or disclosing the documents.
The resident also assured UAMS under oath that she did not share the documents with anyone except her attorneys with whom she has a Business Associate Agreement that specifically protects this information.
Again, UAMS takes the protection of its patient information seriously. Patients who believe their information may have been included and have questions may visit www.uamshealth.com/breach or call a toll-free hotline at 888-729-2755.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 790 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.