After the loss of thousands of X-rays, El Centro Regional Medical Center is offering free credit monitoring to patients whose records may have been compromised.
The incident first surfaced last November, when a company contracted to digitize X-rays in exchange for the silver in it did not return the offered product.
The theft of used X-rays from hospitals is becoming more common as the price of silver has increased over the years.
El Centro Regional began sending letters to affected patients on May 7, according to a press statement released by the hospital Monday. The letter notes the “radiology films and records are for dates of service prior to (February) 2011.”
The statement adds that, “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.”
However it notes the missing documents include patients’ X-rays, paper jackets containing the films and “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 is urging 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 hospital says that it has implemented additional security measures to protect the institution and the patients in the future, including investing in a program that assists in credentialing vendors.
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/.
Staff Writer Alejandro Dávila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or email@example.com