Thursday, March 21, 2013
An update to a story we first brought you on Tuesday. An El Dorado woman wrapped up in a medical mix up finally gets misplaced medical records back to where they belong.
The woman lives in El Dorado. She had been to the KU Medical Center in Wichita earlier this year and wanted her own medical records. What she got, though, were the private and confidential records of eight other people.
The woman we're calling Anne tried to return the records last Friday, but couldn't get an adequate response. By Tuesday of this week, she finally arranged a meeting with KU Medical Practice Executive Director Lorene Valentine. When Valentine saw our camera, however, she walked away without picking up the records.
Thursday, Anne again arranged a meeting with Valentine... and KAKE News was there.
"How did something like this happen?" asked reporter Jared Cerullo.
Valentine turned away and focused on the woman.
"Anne, I'm Lorene Valentine and I'm here to obtain the records. Can you please give them to me?" Valentine asked her.
"You should have got them the other day," Anne responded as she handed over the records.
Cerullo then tried to ask Valentine how this error could have happened with numerous HIPPA privacy checks and balances in place.
"Lorene, how could something like this happen?" Cerullo asked. "Eight people's medical records?"
"Obviously, this is a very unusual circumstance," Valentine responded. "We take this issue very seriously and it's an unusual circumstance."
Valentine then got into her car and drove away without answering any more questions.
Meanwhile, Anne is happy to finally get the records back to the KU Medical Center, but she worries that patient privacy is at risk.
"I had simply asked for my own medical records, so I could give them to another doctor," Anne said. "They didn't even send all that I requested and I even had a rough time getting them to give me my own records. Then I get eight other people's? This is just wrong."
Valentine did provide us with a prepared statement during Thursday's meeting. It acknowledged there had been a "breach of security" and that the KU Medical Center is investigating how it happened. The statement also says the medical center has contacted the eight people whose private and confidential records were sent to someone else.