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UC Irvine investigating loss of documents from medical center storage


Approximately 1,400 boxes of files scheduled for destruction were determined to be missing from a University of California, Irvine Medical Center off-site secure-storage facility on March 6, 2007. Subsequently, an additional 200 boxes were determined to be missing in mid-April 2007.

The majority of the boxes were being stored pending destruction after the appropriate record-retention period. The missing boxes represented about 2 percent of the total in the facility. Some contained patient information such as name, address, Social Security number and/or medical record number. There is currently no evidence that the information is being used for unauthorized purposes.

All patients (287) for whom identifying information was included in the boxes were sent letters on May 7 as a precautionary measure and to alert them to signs of identity theft and the steps that can be taken to protect personal information.

UC Irvine Medical Centerís Materiel Management Department has overall responsibility for storing documents. The department follows policies and procedures for retaining and destroying records that are set by the University of California in accordance with California laws. In light of this issue, medical center staff is taking the additional step of reviewing and inventorying contents of all boxes remaining in the storage facility prior to moving them to an off-site commercial facility specializing in document security.

A police investigation is ongoing.

A telephone hotline, 866-886-2473, will be open for inquiries 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.


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