Patients angry over delayed notification of scattered documents

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Radiology Regional Center patients are frustrated with the delay in notice after Lee County garbage workers lost hundreds of sensitive medical documents back in December.

“My personal information all over Fowler?” said Bonnie Raitt, one of the many patients who received a letter in the mail explaining there could be a potential breach in their medical information. “Excuse me, but I was pissed.”

Raitt couldn’t understand why Radiology Regional would begin notifying patients months after the incident.

“I said, ‘oh my gosh, and you just now contacting us?'”

In the letter, Radiology Regional says the mess was caused by Lee County Solid Waste employees who were driving the records to an incinerator. Solid waste admits there was a mechanical malfunction and the contract between the county and Radiology Regional has been broken:

“There was a mechanical malfunction even though Standard Operating Procedures were followed. An unknown number of records were released from the Solid Waste container. The contract between Lee County and Radiology Regional Center for transporting materials has been terminated. The county is no longer providing such services to any entities similar to RRC.”

“They should be more responsible, someone ought to take them to court for that,” Raitt said, referring to Solid Waste.

“It just seemed like it was just carelessness on their part, like how could this happen?” said Vickie Saez, another affected patient. “I don’t understand.”

Radiology Regional did clarify no one has reported any issues or breaches to their information.

“Radiology Regional Center takes the protection of our patient’s information and their privacy very seriously,” the company said in a statement. “We worked diligently from that very day the incident occurred to go through the proper process that is outlined by the Office of Civil Rights… We also had to go through the process of identifying every patient that had a single record in that shipping container. We then had to hire an outside company to handle the mailing and calls. These were very detailed and time consuming steps in a very difficult process.”

Reporter:Nicole Valdes
NValdesWINK