Lost medical records complicate Joplin hospital’s tornado recovery

The Post-Dispatch, June 3, 2011

One of the less tragic but still serious losses in the Joplin tornado were the medical records scattered across neighboring towns and counties. The tornado's path included St. John's Regional Medical Center, where five patients and one visitor died. The heavily damaged hospital will be closed indefinitely. The circumstances of the deaths in the hospital are still being investigated. Meanwhile, medical records and X-rays have been found as far as Springfield, 75 miles away. The information wasn't lost, because the hospital had joined its parent company Mercy's electronic medical record system just three weeks earlier to back up the paper records. Those servers were not damaged by the tornado. Still, identifying information found on the paper records could include Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers.


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