FORT MYERS, Fla. – Hundreds of medical records from patients at Radiology Regional Center spilled out on Fowler Street earlier Saturday morning, causing a major traffic tie up.
The records included financial accounting statements, old phone bills, invoices and front desk registration information.
Radiology Regional Chief Operating Officer Brad Reid says most of the records are at least ten years old.
Local attorney Brian Edwards says that is still concerning.
“Even if it’s just your name, people can get a lot of info about you, because of the way the computer age is nowadays,” he said.
Reid said the company is in the process of notifying those whose records are affected.
In the meantime, Edwards says you can take steps to protect yourself.
“I check my bank account just about daily,” he said. “My work account, home account, just to make sure there’s no fraud. that does happen.”
Radiology Regional Administrator Brad Reid says the documents “were supposed to go directly from our office to the county incinerator.”
The documents were found lying on Fowler Street, tucked away in nearby canals, and scattered on the sidewalks.
“Apparently they picked up that shipment container, I’m assuming sometime early this morning, and along the way they didn’t check the back doors on it,” Reid said.
Reid says they have a contract with the county to dispose of these records properly
and the documents are supposed to be taken away in a double-locked container.
A county employee did not notice that a door was unlocked.
A county spokeswoman says they are aware of the situation, and in a statement said, “standard operating procedures were followed. in light of this incident, solid waste staff will be reviewing its operating procedures.”
Edwards said unfortunately most patients don’t have control over how their records are disposed of, but he says you can ask.
“Ask what is your procedure, how long do you keep my file and what are the procedures for getting rid of it,” he said.
COO Brian Reid says they have notified the state and federal government, as required by law