Important Information Re: Stolen Camera with Patient Photos
Note: Recently, a physician’s camera containing patient photos and information was stolen. Out of abundance of caution, we have informed affected patients. Below is additional information regarding the situation.
What Happened: In order to document patient care and progress, a physician used a personal camera to take pictures of patients’ skin conditions. The camera was not a Spectrum Health-provided device. The camera was stolen from the physician’s vehicle. As soon as the physician found the camera gone, the physician filed a police report and reported the incident to Spectrum Health. Capturing images to treat dermatologic conditions is widely accepted by the medical community. However, keeping images on an unsecured device outside of Spectrum Health property is not permitted.
Patients whose pictures may have been on the camera were seen at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital dermatology clinics in Grand Rapids and Lansing between mid-February of this year and June 22, 2017. Parents or guardians of the affected patients have been mailed a letter explaining the situation.
Pictures of the skin conditions, which were generally close-up images that did not identify faces or other sensitive body parts, also included the patients’ names, dates of birth, dates of service and medical record numbers.
The information on the camera did not include patients’ Social Security Numbers or any other sensitive financial information, such as health plan or insurance card numbers. Therefore, we do not believe it is necessary to take additional steps to protect patients’ identity or to prevent financial fraud using the children’s information.
To date, police have not recovered the camera. Spectrum Health is investigating and responding to this matter, working with all of its providers to ensure they are collecting and using patient photographs in an approved, secure manner.
For more information, please read these Frequently Asked Questions or contact us as at 844.689.2875.