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Break-in Did Not Breach Confidential Records

Aug. 29, 2005 – Health Commissioner Darlene Carty was anxious Monday to assure the public that a break-in last week at the STD/HIV/TB Clinic on St. Thomas did not compromise any of the clinic's client records.
A release sent from the Health Department said, though computer equipment was taken in the burglary, no client records were kept in the computers.
"There were no patient files kept on the computer as our computers are linked to our MIS Department network and information saved in clinic profiles, not on computer hard drives,"Carty is quoted as saying in the release.
An alarm was tripped at 9:01 p.m. and police, along with clinic director Dr. Gayann Hall, were notified. When police officers went to the scene a few minutes later they found nothing "amiss," the release said.
A security was also on duty at the Knud Hansen complex, where the clinic is located.
Clinic employees found evidence of the break-in the next morning. The police were then called in to investigate. Though the break-in took place Tuesday, Aug. 23 the release was dated Aug. 26 and not sent until Aug. 29.
Eunice Bedminster, Health Department spokeswoman speaking from off-island, said the only reason a release was sent at all was because of broadcast reports suggesting that confidential information might have been compromised in the break-in. She said the department would normally have referred inquiries to the police.

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