Nearly 30K Indiana patients notified of laptop theft

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A laptop containing the personal data of thousands of patients of Gibson General Hospital in Princeton, Ind. was stolen from an employee's home.

How many victims? 29,000 patients

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, Social Security numbers and clinical information.

What happened? On Nov. 27, the laptop was stolen from the home of a hospital employee. The laptop was password protected, though it has not yet been recovered.

What was the response? A hot line was set up to answer questions and, last Wednesday, the hospital mailed notification letters to affected patients.

Details: The employee who fell victim to the laptop theft had round-the-clock access to Gibson General's electronic medical records system, which means patient information may have been automatically saved to the laptop via software. As a precaution, the hospital alerted all 29,000 patients who were seen at Gibson General since January 2007, when the hospital began using the electronic records system.

Quote: “There is no evidence to believe that the data on the laptop was the target of the theft or that any information has been or will be accessed for fraudulent purposes,” Emmett Schuster, the hospital's president and CEO, said.

Source: www.tristate-media.com, Princeton Daily Clarion, “Stolen Gibson General laptop may have had patient info,” (last updated) Dec. 30, 2012.

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