A physician’s stolen personal laptop has Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston notifying about 3,900 patients that their protected health information was on the computer.
The laptop contained summaries of medical information used for administrative purposes and about 225 administrative employee records, according to the hospital. The patient information contained no Social Security numbers, financial information or identifiers.
The employee records included Social Security numbers and the hospital is offering paid credit and identity theft protection services. CIO John Halamka, M.D., tells Health Data Management. The laptop, containing a tracking device, was stolen from the physician’s office on May 22, but the tracker has not been activated and the computer has not been recovered. Still, police have arrested a suspect.
Halamka told the Boston Globe that the hospital is creating “depots” where employees will bring in their personal computing devices for mandatory encryption, if the devices are used in any way to interact with the hospital’s data. In addition, the devices will be checked for appropriate antivirus protection and software patches.
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