A local clinic is investigating how hundreds of patient records were left partially burned in a parking lot, where anyone could have taken them.
Some of the Southside Medical Center records were burned, but others contained visible confidential information such as Social Security numbers and medications, Channel 2 Action News reported.
They were located in plain sight in a parking lot across from the clinic’s Atlanta location, in a dumpster and shipping crates, according to the news station.
A Southside Medical Center spokeswoman said a “full investigation” is being opened into the issue.
“Securing our patients’ records and caring for our patients are top priorities. We follow strict protocols for removing and destruction of records, which does not include burning,” she said in a statement to Channel 2.
Someone came outside and cleaned up the records Saturday.
Charles Ford, when contacted by the news station from information found on the charred papers, was shocked when he learned that his Social Security number was found on a document in the parking lot.
“Everything should be secret," Ford told Channel 2. “Everything should be kept in a file. Something serious should be done about it.”
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.