LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — IU Health Arnett is missing a USB flash drive with some patients’ personal information. The flash drive contains information dating back more than one year ago.
According to 24-Hour News 8 sister station, WLFI, the device contained certain information about IU Health Arnett Emergency Department patients from Nov. 1, 2014 to Nov. 20, 2015. According to IU Health’s Public Relations Manager Rhonda Jones, the information included patient names, dates of birth, home telephone number, medical record number, physician names, diagnoses and dates of service.
Terra Horn and her five children are patients of IU Health Arnett.
“It’s very concerning because they’re my children, and they are minors,” said Horn. “How can you just lose something like that?”
She said she’s concerned that her children’s personal information is lost.
“That right there within itself is enough for anybody to get a hold of,” said Horn. “They could figure out where my kids are located and what’s to stay this is ensuring my kids safety now.”
Patients received a letter from IU Health making them aware of the situation. The missing USB flash drive only contained information on patients who were treated between November 2014 and November 2015 in the ER.
Many who received the letter have concerns. One patient asked, “Why is my information being saved on a flash drive and not the computer’s main system?”
Another IU patient Vicky Woeste said, “I was dismayed, and I was concerned because the letter didn’t tell us exactly what had happened.”
IU Health told patients it is taking steps to ensure future protection. Jones said IU Health is taking steps to enhance the protection of portable storage devices and are reviewing policies and procedures to minimize the chance of such an incident occurring in the future.
However, some patients said they still feel unsafe.
“They should have those in place to begin with, so none of this would’ve happened in the first place,” said Horn.
Jones said the flash drive did not contain Social Security numbers or other financial information.
“I think they need to offer us some form of identity protection or credit reporting protection,” said Woeste.
Many hope IU Health keeps them informed during the investigation. IU officials hope they are able to find the USB flash drive soon.