Hospital Says Patient Personal Data Possibly Compromised

A missing computer part, with sensitive patient credit information, is missing from Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

The hospital is trying to notify 1700 former patients, offering them free credit monitoring to those whose personal information may have been compromised.

The hospital says patient names and Social Security numbers were placed onto a portable computer storage device, used to move the information between different computer systems. Employees have since discovered that USB flashdrive is missing from where it was stored.

It contained information from transplant patients and possible donors.

"Pitt County Memorial Hospital deeply regrets this incident and is making changes to its processes to prevent this from happening again," said Steve Lawler, president of PCMH. "We work hard to earn the trust and confidence of the people we serve, and we want to do everything we can to help maintain that trust."

The hospital says the former patients date back to the 1980's and they are trying to find addressed for some of those people affected.

Contact the hospital "Breach Hotline" at 1-877-676-0376 if you have concerns about the security of your personal information or click on the link below for further details.

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  • by transplant patient on Oct 15, 2009 at 05:45 PM
    What has happened to us is unforgiveable!! It is like giving someone the keys to your house and please take what you want. I'm sorry I have worked in heath care and this person should be fired!! I know it's tuff but we the paients are at risk. When is PCMH going to step to the plate and take the proper action and then let the transplant patients know that this person is know longer there???
  • by GrowUp Location: nc on Oct 15, 2009 at 11:32 AM
    I work in healthcare and know how difficult the jobs of healthcare workers can be. I can assure you that PCMH has a policy regarding data security, someone made a mistake and will unfortunately pay for it. As the most heavily regulated industry in the United States, it's a wonder these workers can remember to use the bathroom along with every CMS, DHSR, NFPA, EPA, OIG, JCAHO, OSHA, ANA, AMA, AORN, ACS, CDC, et. al. regulation the government throws at us. So go ahead and sue, liability insurance will go up, healthcare costs will go up, hospital will have less money to buy supplies and pay staff, you will eventually have to take care of yourself. Good luck with that.
  • by Pirate Gal Location: Greenville on Oct 15, 2009 at 07:35 AM
    To Anonymous.....FYI: I, myself, am a previous employee of PCMH so I happen to know EXACTLY what goes into working there. The fact is that they focus so much on not "offending" other people that they constantly let their employees who've been there forever, their "senior employees...technicians/nurses" make mistake after mistake, covering it all up...while great employees are forced to leave because they get tired of doing the right things and putting up with it! If this was the first mistake, then, yes, it happens, but stuff like this (often in the same department) happens time and time again!
  • by transplant recipent Location: local on Oct 15, 2009 at 05:17 AM
    I am still in shock!! My information has been out there this long. What has been done about this employee? I hope that this person has either been fired or movrd to an area where the employee does not have acess to this sensitive informayion. I think all kidney transplant patients should join forces and meet and take legal action to the employee and the hospital. ALL KIDNEY TRANSPLANT PATIENTS PLEASE REPLY.
  • by anon on Oct 15, 2009 at 04:04 AM
    No it doesn't take two weeks.
  • by BenThere Location: Eastern NC on Oct 14, 2009 at 05:25 PM
    My Mom was there a while back. 2 & a half weeks later after open heart surgery, they slapped a sign on her door for staph infection and started coming in with masks and putting gloves on and washing hands. I noticed when we came in her room , the room across was marked for staph infection. Does it take 2 & a half weeks to determine staph infection?
  • by Anon on Oct 14, 2009 at 05:19 PM
    forget getting rid of the person I hope criminal action is brought against the person who allowed it to be taken or who took it. Everyone says you shouldn't complain no one is perfect. Which is true and I'm sure if it was the facility we worked at we too would be defensive or feeling like people are beating on us but the fact remains this is supposed to be a state of the art hospital why they have to use flash drives to hold information they KNOW is very sensitive is beyond me. They can let people run off with people's identities yet it took my doctor TWO weeks to get medical records to release my test results from an ER visit even with my signed release of information form after I was told to follow up. One good thing I can say about them though is their patient care reps are wonderful when a nurse verbally abused my husband after a daunting and complicated surgery, the management staff was right on the case and handled it swiftly. So at least part of their system does do a good job.
  • by klidney recpient Location: local on Oct 14, 2009 at 03:30 PM
    I want to know if this happened in Aug-Sept, why is it now coming to light. The identity could have already happened. Bing a patient puts me at risk!!!
  • by Billy on Oct 14, 2009 at 12:53 PM
    UNKNOWN-While I'm not a fan of PCMH and even work there as a Nurse. The 2 incidents are entirely unrelated. First, The blood mistake was done by nursing staff and this particular incident had NOTHING to do with the Nurses that provide patient care. You seem to be quick to judge here as you must me one who never makes an honest mistake yourself. Several on these posts are also correct, PCMH makes alot of mistakes but most get covered up. They will also try to sugar coat the truth in regards to stories that affect the community. Example- a story that ran a couple of days ago- about the new rules for visiting- someone POsted- Proud RN- who stated that MRSA was under control and the H1N1 was under control. Neither one of those are true but PCMH would have the public believe that it is. Several stories on here today about the H1N1 here in the east and how it's not under control.
  • by employee Location: gville on Oct 14, 2009 at 12:04 PM
    PCMH is great a covering up mistakes!! You would never believe the amount of mistakes that never even get reported. If they do report them it gets covered up! There are caring, wonderful people that work there...but the administration is completely corporate and money hungery!!!

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