Last stop. Please take your belongings and your patients’ medical records

That headline was too hard to resist.  From today’s Globe

Paperwork containing the personal medical information of at least 66 patients at Massachusetts General Hospital was lost this month when an employee apparently left it on an MBTA train.

The hospital sent out letters last week to patients whose identities were included in the lost paperwork, telling them the information listed their names and dates of birth, and private medical information, including their diagnoses and the name of the provider with whom they met. The material constituted billing records for patients who attended the hospital’s Infectious Disease Associates outpatient practice on Fruit Street on March 4.

Deborah A. Adair, the hospital’s privacy officer and director of health information services, said in a statement released yesterday that while the incident was regrettable, the hospital followed privacy laws by immediately alerting affected patients and authorities, including the state attorney general’s office and the Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

 In case you were wondering, it was the Red Line.

For more on medical privacy see the HHS HIPAA site

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