August 02, 2011, 03:12 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff
Documents containing personal information of approximately 1,500 Mills-Peninsula Health Services patients were removed from the facility over the course of a year and taken home by a mailroom employee, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The worker, who has since been terminated, took the documents between November 2009 and September 2010. The Burlingame hospital learned of the breach June 17 when a relative of the employee discovered the documents at the worker’s home and returned them to the hospital.
The reason for the removal is murky.
“We don’t believe they’ve been used for anything. We believe they just sat in a box,” said Margie O’Clair, vice president of communications for Mills-Peninsula Health Services.
The hospital reported the incident to the Burlingame police who are pursuing a criminal investigation, O’Clair said.
All of the patients whose information was taken have been notified by mail although anyone with questions can contact Mills-Peninsula. The hospital is also offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity protection to the patients whose registration information, including addresses, insurance identification and Social Security numbers, were taken.