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Research Letter
March 20, 2018

Disposal of Paper Records Containing Personal Information in Hospitals

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
JAMA. 2018;319(11):1162-1163. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21533

Patients have the right to expect safekeeping of personal information. In Ontario, as in many jurisdictions, protection of personal health information (PHI) is codified in legislation.1 With patient information increasingly maintained in the electronic health record (EHR), paper records are frequently discarded, creating risk of paper-based privacy breaches. We assessed the presence, amount, and sensitivity of personally identifiable information (PII) and PHI (a subset of PII) found in hospital recycling bins.

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