Patient documents found dumped in trash
Last updated on: 1/22/2008 9:03:09 PM by Cara Sapida
LEE COUNTY: When you visit the doctor’s office, you expect your personal information to be kept private, but we discovered documents carelessly tossed in the trash. The documents contained sensitive information that put patient identities at risk.
Eighty-one-year old Richard Tabbi only reveals four digits of his Social Security number. It’s a precautionary measure that turned out to be well worth it.
We tracked Tabbi down, through a form we found tucked away in the trash among hundreds of patient documents behind a doctor’s office on McGregor Boulevard. They were all clearly labeled Dr. James Barringer.
Barringer quickly showed up with his foot stool.
“Just one little incident, just this much. We’ll get it fixed,” said Barringer.
Barringer immediately began digging in the dumpster for the documents. He claims an office worker forgot to the shred the documents before throwing them away.
He says that worker will be unemployed tomorrow.
“It is somebody else, I’ll take care of it,” said Barringer.
On the same day, in the same hour, inside the same dumpster we found additional documents. Those documents came from an office just a few doors down.
“I don’t want to be on TV all over Fort Myers. All my clients will see me and that’s just ridiculous,” said Lucille Adgate, a Certified Public Accountant.
Adgate collected hundreds of her clients E-file tax forms, each with a Social Security number right on the front.
“It was a mistake. Don’t know how it got in here, we have a new employee, she must have thrown garbage without realizing it was a bag of shredding,” said Adgate.
Both business owners claim this was the first time it has happened and they know the risk involved.
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