Stanford Hospitals & Clinics and the School of Medicine are notifying 2,500 patients of a breach of protected health information following the theft of a computer from the locked office of a physician.

The breach occurred on July 15 or 16, according to a statement sent to the media. Compromised information included names, location of service and medical records; some treatment histories and dates of birth or ages; and a “small” amount of Social Security numbers. The university is offering paid identity protection services and has tightened security, although details were not provided.

The stolen computer has tracking software that enables the university to know if it has been connected to the Internet and its location, but the computer has not yet been detected.

The HHS Office for Civil Rights eventually will post the breach on its Web site of major breaches affecting 500 or more individuals. Stanford already has a breach affecting 19,651 individuals listed on the site, following the August 2011 discovery of protected health information on a public Web site and the subsequent filing of a class action lawsuit.

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