Oceanside, Calif. – At Tri-City Medical Center, our top priority is ensuring the health and wellbeing of the hospital’s patients. The hospital also takes its responsibility to safeguard the personal health information of its patients seriously as well as its obligation to inform patients of unauthorized access to their personal information. The hospital is notifying approximately 6,500 patients of an incident that occurred on August 8, 2014, involving the unauthorized removal of certain patient records from the hospital’s premises. The hospital has also reported the incident to appropriate regulatory agencies. As of this date, the removed records are secure and there is no information that suggests personal information in the records has been used or further disclosed.
On August 13, 2014, the hospital learned that a former employee removed certain Emergency Department logs from the hospital’s premises without its authorization. The logs are paper records that include personal information of patients who visited the hospital’s Emergency Department and were admitted to the hospital or transferred to another facility between December 1, 2013 and May 13, 2014. The logs include the following identifying information: full name, dates of service, date of birth, admitting physician, medical record number, diagnosis and admit date and time. The logs do not include social security numbers or financial information.
The hospital immediately initiated an investigation of this incident and also referred the matter to the police. The hospital has confirmed that, instead of returning the records to the hospital, the former employee took the records to the San Diego Office of the California Department of Public Health. While the hospital’ investigation continues, there is no indication that any confidential information contained in the logs has been used or further disclosed.
The hospital will continue to take appropriate actions to address this incident including re-emphasizing, through employee training and education, the hospital’s and its employees’ and representatives’ ongoing commitment and obligation to protect the personal information of the hospital’s patients.
Individuals who believe their personal information may have been involved or who need further information should call the following toll-free number 877-615-3767. Further information is also available in the FAQs accessible through www.tricitymed.org.
About Tri-City Medical Center
Tri-City Medical Center has served its community for more than half a century and is a Gold Seal- approved full service, acute-care hospital with two advanced institutes and over 500 physicians practicing in 60 specialties. Tri-City Medical Center has become the county’s leader in robotic and minimally invasive surgical technologies, including being the first to provide in San Diego County the Mazor Renaissance Surgical Guidance System for surgical repair of spinal deformities, injuries and rehabilitation as well as a nationwide destination for hip preservation surgery. Tri-City Medical Center also has the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in North San Diego County, now with the NICView System, a password-protected webcam system that allows parents and relatives to remotely view their newest family member. Tri-City Medical Center was recognized as an innovator in medical treatments, research, technology and care delivery as well as an anchor of health in the country.
For more information about Tri-City Medical Center and Tri-City Healthcare District, please visit www.tricitymed.org.