The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) recently began notifying former patients at the Mental Health Institute in Independence, and hundreds of state employees there and at other state facilities, that a backup tape containing their personal information was found to be missing on April 30, 2013 (h/t DataBreaches.net).

The tape did not contain bank or credit card information, but it did include the names, Social Security numbers and mailing addresses of about 700 employees of several facilities managed by the DHS, as well as the names, Social Security numbers, mailing addresses, birthdates, phone numbers and medical diagnosis codes of 7,300 former patients at the Mental Health Institute.

The DHS says it's likely the tape was inadvertently destroyed or discarded. "The chance that your information was improperly access is small, but we realize that you may want to take steps to be sure that your information is not used by another person," Supt. Bhasker Dave said in a statement [PDF file].


Potentially affected patients and employees are being offered a one-year enrollment in a credit monitoring service. Anyone with questions is advised to call (800) 447-1985.