Medtronic misplaces patient records

Medtronic ($MDT) has misplaced a box of training records relating to the use of its insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices, and it contained confidential information affecting more than 2,500 patients.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Minnesota medical device giant notified patients about the problem by way of letters sent out in early July. The records date back to 2008. Company spokeswoman Cindy Resman told the newspaper that none of the documents contained "sensitive or intrusive information." But the company is being cautious, in part because the box may contain "insurance company information, contact information and limited patient records." A small number of files could include patient Social Security numbers, she said.

Resman noted that Medtronic is trying to be proactive, and is already working to give affected patients identity protection services as an additional precaution. The company said it hasn't yet received any reports over misused patient data.

So what happened to the box? Medtronic officials believe they might still find it, and that it is only misplaced somewhere within the company's facilities. Even so, execs are operating under the assumption that the files are gone for good. They've also notified the federal government, the paper notes, a mandatory action when secure health information involving 500 or more patients is compromised.

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