Lost thumb drive leads to compromised patient data

Share this article:

A lost thumb drive containing thousands of patient records went missing from a Nebraska doctor's office.

How many victims? 2,125 patients of James Fosnaugh, a 30-year doctor of internal medicine who works out of Wedgewood Legacy Medical in Lincoln, Neb.

What type of personal information? Patients' full names, birth dates, home addresses, phone numbers and, in some cases, names of family members, according to a release from Wedgewood Legacy Medical. A representative from Fosnaugh's office said no financial and insurance information and no Social Security numbers were lost.

What happened? Fosnaugh wore the thumb drive on a piece of lanyard around his neck and it was said to have slipped off sometime in May. The device has not been recovered.

What was the response? Fosnaugh's office sent letters to the affected patients and contacted investigators.

Details: Employees in Fosnaugh's office scoured the office and emptied garbage bags and vacuum cleaners, but were unable to find the thumb drive. Fosnaugh used the device to review medical records, particularly when seeing patients in the hospital. The office has since ceased storing patient information on portable drives.

Quote: “Although we believe that it is highly unlikely that this computer chip has or will be found by someone who can extract the information on it, we cannot be 100 percent sure, thus we need to timely notify our patients of this event,” the doctor's office said.

Source: www.journalstar.com, Lincoln Journal Star, “Lost piece of thumb drive contained thousands of patient records,” June 30, 2013.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in The Data Breach Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

POLL

More in The Data Breach Blog

Programming error results in CVS Caremark mailing blunder

About 350 CVS Caremark customers are being notified that a programming error resulted in mailers containing their personal information being sent to the wrong customers.

Seattle University donor checks possibly exposed due to settings error

Seattle University is notifying an undisclosed number of donors that anyone with a Seattle University computer account could have viewed scanned checks.

Laptop stolen from Self Regional Healthcare contained patient data

As least 500 patients of Self Regional Healthcare have been notified that their personal information was on a laptop stolen from a Self Regional facility.