I am writing to inform you about an issue that Moab Regional Hospital was recently notified about concerning protected health information that was discovered at the former Allen Memorial Hospital site.
Moab Regional Hospital opened its doors Feb. 14, 2011 after a two-year construction project. Simultaneously with the opening, all medical records were relocated to the new facility.
On Feb. 28, 2017, MRH administration received word that there were some documents containing HIPAA-protected health information remaining in the old facility. There appeared to be some old laboratory quality assurance books and x-ray films remaining. It is unknown why those were not removed previously.
Due to the appearance of both possible asbestos exposure and rodent droppings that could contain diseases, MRH administration contracted with a certified hazardous materials contractor to remove and store all records containing protected health information from the premises and to log what protected health information was discovered. MRH received word from the contractor that the process had been completed by March 2, 2017. MRH hired a law firm with particular expertise in this area to assist with full and complete compliance with all reporting and public notification requirements.
Unfortunately and despite all these efforts, we were recently notified that there were documents containing protected health information still remaining in the former hospital building. The company that we contracted with in 2017 was asked to return to the site. This time they have attempted to clear the building of nearly all paper material, rather than only paper with sensitive information, to avoid something being accidently missed.
Our director of facilities and I inspected the site after their work was complete. The conditions inside are difficult to navigate, as quite a bit of the building has been stripped, creating a great deal of debris to sort through. However, we think that the contractor was thorough and we do not believe any protected health information remains. The current owner of the building has assured me that if any additional material with protected health information is discovered, he will contact the hospital immediately.
We take the privacy of our patients very seriously and I deeply apologize for this concerning situation. Now that the material is secure, we are currently working to ensure all reporting and notification requirements are met.
Please feel free to contact me personally if you have any further questions or concerns.
– Jen Sadoff
CEO, Moab Regional Hospital