Hundreds of patient records discovered in Fargo dumpster

(Fargo, ND) -- A Fargo woman recently discovered a stash of what she thought were "important documents" left in a dumpster behind a business on University Drive. 

She then contacted WDAY News First expressing concerns about what she found.

WDAY news first responded to the scene and found several boxes of patient records, patient insurance information, tax documents, billing statements and receipts. 

Many of the documents included the name of an optometrist who operates an office in the FM metro. 

The documents filled 15 standard size office boxes. 
The woman who made the discovery wants to remain anonymous but commented on her find. 

"I just thought back to my own family and I wouldn't want our, that's how breaches happen. I wouldn't want our personal identifying information to just be dumped in a dumpster for anybody to come along," said the Fargo resident. 

After securing the documents, WDAY News First determined there were roughly 350 to 400 patient records in the stash. The records include information related to their optometric care. 

WDAY News First contacted the Fargo Police Department to let them know about the discovery.

The department was asked to comment on the case but has not yet provided a statement. 

The optometrist whose name appears on the documents has not responded to a request for comment from WDAY News First. 

An official with the North Dakota State Board of Optometry tells WDAY News First the optometrist whose name appears on the documents could face disciplinary action.

WDAY News First will continue to follow this developing story. 

Original Air Date: 
Friday, February 17, 2023