Women & Infants Hospital is committed to protecting our patients’ information. Regrettably, this notice concerns some of that information.
On September 13, 2012, we learned that unencrypted backup tapes containing ultrasound images went missing from two of our ambulatory sites. We immediately began an investigation and conducted a thorough search of our facilities. To date, we have been unable to locate the backup tapes.
Ambulatory Site at 79 Plain Street, Providence, Rhode Island
The backup tapes contained ultrasound images dating from 1993 to 1997 from the Providence location, and included patient names, dates of birth, dates of exams, physicians’ names, patient ultrasound images, and, in some instances, Social Security numbers.
Ambulatory Site at 67 Brigham Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts
The backup tapes contained ultrasound image dating from 2002 to 2007 from the New Bedford location, and included patient names, dates of birth, dates of exams, physicians’ names, patient ultrasound images, and, in some instances, Social Security numbers.
We have no reason to believe that the information on the backup tapes has been accessed or used improperly. It would take specialized equipment and technical expertise to access the information on the tapes. As a precautionary measure, however, we began notifying affected patients on November 5, 2012, and have established a dedicated call center for patients to call with questions. If you believe you are affected but do not receive a letter by November 23, 2012, please call 1-877-810-7928, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm Eastern Time.
While we no longer have the actual ultrasound images, we assure our patients that the full report of their ultrasound and its findings remain in their electronic medical record for reference, if ever needed.
We have taken steps to help prevent an incident like this from happening in the future, including a thorough review of our policies and procedures and enhancement of our backup tape receipt and storage practices. Again, we deeply regret any concern or inconvenience this may cause our patients.