Hospital loses box filled with radiology images, exposing info of more than 1,000 patients

A Texas hospital recently revealed that a box containing radiology discs was reported missing from a secured storage room.

Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth made the discovery on June 18. In total, more than 1,700 individuals were affected by the error, according to a patient notice posted to the hospital’s website.

While it did note that patient images on the missing hardware are not viewable without using specific software, after an immediate investigation, it found certain personal information is vulnerable. This includes patient names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, dates of service, type of scan, information related to the scan, and the physician’s name.

Importantly, the notice maintained that the breach only impacts those who received total body or hip and spine imaging between 2005 and 2014.

To date, Cook Children’s Medical System has zero evidence that any information has been misused. It did begin mailing letters to individuals on Aug. 17 “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We apologize for the circumstances that caused this incident and any inconvenience this may cause our patients and their families,” the notice read. “We are implementing encryption technology when needed and holding mandatory employee retraining to help ensure this does not happen again.”

The health system is encouraging anyone affected who has not received a letter by Sept. 17 to call 877-728-0777.