EL CENTRO, Calif. – On March 22, 2013, El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) was notified that x-rays ECRMC had provided to a trusted vendor for digitization and destruction were missing from a storage warehouse and may not have been properly destroyed.
ECRMC immediately began a thorough internal investigation to determine what happened to the x-rays, but has been unable to find the missing x-rays. ECRMC has also not been able to make contact with the vendor.
The radiology films and records are for dates of service prior to February 2011. As a precaution, ECRMC began sending letters to affected patients on May 7 to let them know this occurred.
ECRMC has no information that any of these documents were improperly viewed or accessed, or that any of the information in the documents has been misused in any way. To make sure our patients are protected, ECRMC is urging eligible patients who may be affected to use the resources the hospital is providing to check their credit and sign up for free credit monitoring.
The missing documents include patients’ x-rays, paper jackets containing the films, and sometimes written interpretations. The information involved may include patient names, dates of birth, addresses, medical record numbers, ECRMC account numbers, physicians’ names, diagnoses, radiology procedures, radiology interpretations, health insurance number, and in some instances Social Security numbers.
ECRMC no longer does business with the vendor. ECRMC has set up a call center for patients who have questions and has posted this information on its website at http://www.ecrmc.org/news-&-updates/&/view/event/id/118/.
ECRMC deeply regrets any concerns this may cause its patients. To help prevent something like this from happening again, ECRMC implemented additional security measures to further protect us and our patients in the future against individuals, including the investment in a program that assists in the credentialing of vendors and their representatives.