Walmart Reports Dual Breaches and Cancer Patients Left With Rare Blood Infection

Stay on top of physical data breaches and drug diversion risks that threaten your healthcare organization with Senseon’s Physical Security Breach Roundup. We bring you the most recent physical data breach and drug diversion announcements each month. If you want to learn more about what you can do to minimize the risk of your facility ending up on this list, we can help.

Shipping Incident Potentially Compromises Patient Information

A Connecticut hospital is left sending out letters to patients after a box containing medical records was compromised. The box, sent via USPS to the state department of health was broken open during shipping. 

It has also been reported that the contents were damaged. Western Connecticut Health Network reports that there was no indication that the records ever left USPS custody and has no evidence that information in the box has been misused.

OCR Updates

OCRs breach portal is reporting the following breaches this month: 

  • Walmart makes the list with two separate incidents: A breach of 4,738 records reported on 8/09/2019 that involved the loss of paper/films and a breach of 3,135 records reported on 7/26/2019 of the same category.
  • Fairfield Medical Center of Ohio reported (8/15/2019) a breach of 1,182 records due to unauthorized access or disclosure of paper/films.
  • On 8/9/2019, IlliniCare Health Plan, Inc. of Illinois reported a breach of 3,517 records due to unauthorized access or disclosure in the Desktop Computer, Other category.

Community Health Choice, Inc. in Texas reported on 8/8/2019, a breach of 7,855 records due to unauthorized access/disclosure paper/films.

Cancer Patients Left with Rare Blood Infection From Drug-Diluting Nurse

According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, six patients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo New York are found to be infected with S. paucimobilis in the summer of 2018. The bacterium lives in soil and water but rarely causes bloodstream infections. 

Doctors suspected contaminated medication was the cause of the outbreak and found that syringes of hydromorphone did test positive. Further investigation revealed that a nurse, Kelsey Mulvey had “repetitively and inappropriately” accessed the locked drawer that housed the hydromorphone syringes. Testing revealed the syringes had been diluted with tap water. 

Mulvey has been accused of not properly medicating 81 patients.

Two Arrested in Pharmaceutical Drug Diversion

Pharmacist Jerry Vaughn was arrested and charged with Embezzlement of a Controlled Substance in Mississippi. Prosecutors accused Vaughn of embezzling approximately 250 dosage units of Suboxone and set his bond at $7,500. 

Doctor and Brother Face 25- and 15-year Sentences for Running Drug Ring

Doctor Shakeel Kahn is facing 25 years in jail for running a drug conspiracy that left one woman dead. 

Kahn was found guilty of 21 felonies in relation to prescribing opioids and other pills in exchange for cash fees. Jurors found him responsible for the overdose of an Arizona woman. His brother Nabeel Kahn was convicted for conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and a firearms charge. 

Facility Management Site Urges Hospitals not to Wait for a Security Incident addresses the question of security vs. access in its latest blog. The publications emphasizes the fact that the cold, institutional look no longer meets patient needs and stresses a proactive approach is the most effective. 

Leaders are urged not to wait for an incident to start improving healthcare security practices and to remember that physical security investments can be worked into a budget over time. They also recommend reaching out to other healthcare organizations to find how they’re addressing security challenges. 

Want to learn how to incorporate security into your patient-driven experience? This blog will help