Last week we shared with you the news that Platte Valley Medical Center (PVMC) was undertaking an internal investigation into the alleged identity theft by a former contract agency nurse who was engaged by PVMC from May 2010 to January 13, 2011.
This story appeared in several media channels as it affects as many as five metro-area hospitals, including PVMC. In addition to a thorough internal investigation, PVMC has mailed letters to 72 patients to let them know their personal information was inappropriately accessed by this agency nurse and have also notified all 142 patients he treated during his limited shifts at PVMC.
We are asking patients who believe their private information may have been compromised to contact PVMC’s Compliance Department directly at 303-498-3618 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As an employee, please refer any privacy questions related to this manner to our Compliance Department.
This investigation will be ongoing as it involves multiple jurisdictions and currently 90 felony charges – one related to PVMC and 89 related to another hospital.
In the meantime, here are some additional privacy reminders to help you stay alert and vigilant:
- Computers should not be left unattended while logged on.
- Remember to log off your computer any time it is not in use, this includes clinical and non clinical areas.
- Privacy screens should always be used in areas where information is easily viewed by other personnel or visitors.
- Medical records should not be left unattended or in unsecured areas.
- Double check common names to make sure that you have the right patient when completing documentation.
- Ensure conversations regarding patient care are conducted in a private/secure area.
- Do not discuss a patient’s confidential information with co-workers unless they need the information to perform their job. This includes discussions outside the hospital with friends and family not involved with the patient’s care.
Respecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patients helps make us excellent healthcare providers. Thank you for doing your part to make our patients’ privacy and security a priority.