Medical Records Exposed In Dumpster


NBC San Diego

Medical documents from the Riverside Community Hospital and surrounding clinics were found in a Chula Vista Dumpster, NBC 7/39 reported.

A man who runs a local business nearby the Dumpster located in a parking lot on the 100 block of 27th street called NBC 7/39 to report the finding.

Klaus Thomas said the papers were blowing everywhere.

"We drove in, the whole parking lot was full of paper," Thomas said.

Thomas said someone must have dumped what appeared to be at least 10,000 pieces of medical records overnight.

The medical records from Riverside Community Hospital contained names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account and other detailed medical information, NBC 7/39 reported.

Thomas said there were also stacks of baby records, information about patients' heart conditions and mental health.

The stacks of paper also contained information about doctors, including names of physicians who were discharged and the reasons why.

Identity theft expert Jay Foley said this is a huge violation of federal law, not to mention privacy.

"Why it traveled all the way to a Dumpster in Chula Vista from wherever it originated in Riverside is a question someone's going to have to answer," Foley said.

Thomas said before he could do anything, a dump truck picked up most of the records. Thomas called the hospital, and said a man named David Stanley came and picked up what was left.

Stanley told NBC 7/39 the documents were sealed in boxes labeled confidential and said they were meant to be shredded. Stanley said steps were being taken to find out how they ended up in the Dumpster.

A hospital official released a statement Saturday: "We take medical records and private health information extremely seriously. We don't know what the trail of events were. We need to do an investigation before we can comment."

NBC 7/39 also contacted both shredding companies, and is waiting for comment from them.

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