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University of Kansas Health System sends notification of privacy incident
UKHS sale pic
The University of Kansas Health System in Great Bend announced Thursday a possible privacy incident and that those possibly impacted have been notified. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The University of Kansas Health System in Great Bend announced Thursday it has notified individuals whose personal information may have been impacted by a privacy incident. The health system became aware of the incident on April 4 after being contacted by a Great Bend resident, said Jill Chadwick, UKHS marketing director.

Officials with the health system believe the likelihood of unauthorized access is “very low,” according to a news release.

“Following an internal investigation, it was determined that as part of the relocation of the Family Medicine practice on Polk St. to a new location in the St. Rose Medical Pavilion, certain documents related to laboratory services provided at the Polk St. location remained there for secure disposal,” she said. In January 2022, the Polk St. location was cleared of all remaining unusable furniture, trash, and business documentation that did not include patient information. 

“Upon review, it was determined that certain lab service orders and lab result documents from 2013 to 2018 of approximately 926 patients were insecurely disposed during this process,” she said. “During the investigation, these records were retrieved and inventoried.” 

According to a UKHS news release, the information contained included name, date of birth, phone number, an outdated medical record number, dates of service, ordering provider, admitting physician, diagnosis for lab order and lab results. Importantly, the only personal contact information included was a phone number.

“No other information, including Social Security numbers, driver’s license information, or financial information (e.g., bank account or credit card information) was involved,” Chadwick said. “The health system believes the likelihood any unauthorized individuals accessed the information is very low and has no evidence any other disclosures have occurred.”  

In addition to the actions above, the health system has also taken steps to re-educate to staff involved in the incident, the news release reads. They have also provided staff reminders related to appropriately safeguarding patient information, including the secure destruction of patient information.

Written notifications were sent on May 27 to all impacted individuals identified by the health system for whom The University of Kansas Health System has contact information, she said. If individuals do not receive written notification but believe their records may have been impacted, they can request information by calling Rebecca Popp, director, Physician Practice Administration and Operations in Great Bend between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. toll-free at 1-833-738-2585 Monday through Friday.  

The University of Kansas Health System has also notified the Department of Health and Human Services of this incident, as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The University of Kansas Health System apologizes for any inconvenience that this incident might cause.