PITTSBURGH - A teenage girl is waiting for a liver transplant but that's not all her family has to worry about. They're also concerned about a missing hospital document.
Target 11 investigator Rick Earle said the girl's family has always had good things to say about Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, but on Monday morning, her parents received a letter that caught them by surprise.
Alicia Hruby, 15, of Monongahela, has a rare disease and needs a liver transplant. Her parents just learned some of her personal medical information may have been compromised.
“There are a lot of people who can do a lot of bad things with this information,” said Donna Hruby, Alicia Hruby’s mom.
Donna Hruby received the letter from Children’s Hospital, saying that a list of transplant candidates went missing around Christmas time. The hospital discovered it on Jan. 3 and has been unable to locate it, Earle reported.
According to the letter, the document contained the patient's name, date of birth, partial address, blood type, height and weight, contact phone numbers and diagnosis and clinical and insurance information.
The letter said the hospital will provide more training for staff about protecting a patient's information and conduct a full evaluation to determine if changes need to be made.
The Hrubys haven't noticed any billing or credit irregularities, but they wish they had been alerted earlier.
"On top of everything else, we're dealing with worrying about our health information being compromised,” said Donna Hruby.
In the letter, the hospital apologized and offered information on identity theft.
Earle contacted the hospital, and a spokesperson said:
“Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recently became aware that a document containing confidential information for a group of our transplant patients was lost and potentially has been viewed by people not authorized to see it.
“Per federal regulations, we have sent the affected patients and their families a letter describing this potential disclosure. We also have taken steps to review our processes and to re-train our employees so this never happens again.
“We take the protection of confidential patient information very seriously and we deeply apologize for the inconvenience and anxiety that we have created for our patients and their families.”
Earle was not told how many people were affected.
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