A doctor in Jersey City, New Jersey, has suffered a records theft that has affected 40,000 people. Once again this shows the danger posed to physical records as well as electronic records, and the urgency surrounding digital data shouldn't completely erase the need to safeguard the older records that you are using.
The story was covered by The Jersey Journal, which noted that the theft all stems back to a doctor's shed being broken into. Dr. Nisar A. Quraishi was keeping physical copies of records at his place, but even the locked shed was not enough to deter attackers. Someone was found to have broken into the shed and taken off with thousands of records.
Any patient treated in the 27-year period between 1982 and 2009 may have had their information compromised. Although Dr. Quraishi also works at NYU, the records reportedly do not pertain to anyone he has treated at that location.
That is at least what Lisa Greiner of NYU's Langone Medical Center told the source.
"The patient records involved were from Dr. Quraishi's private practice … and therefore do not include any treatments provided by him since his employment with NYU Langone as of January 2014," she said.
NBC New York reports that Quraishi has been working with the police to solve this crime, and reportedly hadn't even entered the shed in months. The boxes were taken from a storage locker in the shed, and there were signs of damage where someone had broken the locks.
In some cases, physical records represent information that is trapped "in limbo" as it is being converted into a digital system. Whatever the case, all records need to be kept free of HIPAA violations.