Unencrypted hospital laptop exposes 2k patient records

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An employee of the Boston Children's Hospital lost a laptop holding patient information.

How many victims? 2,159

What type of personal information? Names, birth dates, and diagnoses and treatment information (but no financial data or Social Security numbers)

What happened? The employee was in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a conference and lost the laptop, which contained a file with the patient data.

What was the response? Patients and their families were sent emails notifying them of the incident. Daniel Nigrin, the facility's chief information officer, released a statement to the media stating that "additional steps" will be taken to prevent further breaches in the future. Affected individuals were advised to call the hospital at (855) 281-5730.

Details: The exposed data was not saved to the lost computer's hard drive, but was contained in an email attachment. The laptop was password protected, though not encrypted.

Quote: “Boston Children's takes this incident and the protection of protected health and personal information extremely seriously," Nigrin said.

Source: The Boston Globe, bostonglobe.com, "Laptop lost with data for more than 2,000 patients, Boston Children's reports," May 22, 2012.

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