Healthcare Information Security

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Southwest General notifies 480 patients of data breach

By Nicole Freeman

- Southwest General Health Center of Ohio is notifying more than 480 patients involved in an obstetrics study of a missing binder containing patient information, according to reports from Fox 8 Cleveland and Cleveland.com. The binder has been missing since December 5.

The information in the binder, which was gathered between April and October of 2013, includes patient names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and clinic information related to childbirth. No financial information or Social Security numbers were held in the binder. The binder was used in an obstetric quality study being conducted by the hospital and the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, and the Ohio Hospital Association.  The hospital is unaware of any misuse of information from the missing binder. Southwest General released a statement on the breach, explaining how it plans to prevent future incidents.

Southwest General is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of the patient information it maintains, and it deeply regrets any inconvenience this may cause its patients. Southwest General has existing policies and procedures in place to protect its patients’ health information and has implemented further procedures to help prevent this type of incident from reoccurring.

It is unclear as to whether or not the hospital has notified law enforcement, or if the binder is believed to be misplaced or stolen.

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