Breach, Data Security

Four computers containing patient data stolen in New Hampshire

New Hampshire-based Elliot Hospital is notifying more than 1,200 patients that their personal information was on four computer workstations that were stolen from the vehicle of an employee.

How many victims? 1,208, according to one report. 1,213, according to a separate report. 

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, billing codes and internal record numbers. The Social Security number of an employee, who is also a patient, was compromised.

What happened? Four computer workstations containing the data were stolen from an employee's vehicle.

What was the response? Elliot is introducing encryption for all PCs, instead of just on laptops and notebooks, and is centrally archiving data, rather than auto-archiving data on the PC hard drives. All impacted individuals are being notified.

Details: The thefts occurred on March 27 and letters sent to impacted individuals were dated May 16. The computers auto-archived three spreadsheets and 20 emails, which contained the data.

Quote: “It's very important to keep in mind or to understand that this is not a situation involving the breach of electronic medical records,” John Friberg, senior vice president of Elliot Hospital, said. “In fact, none of the information involved any medical records. For instance, nothing on these four PCs related to any medical history of any patients.”

Source:, New Hampshire Union Leader, “Elliot Hospital patients notified of data breach,” May 27, 2014;, “Hospital data breach could affect more than 1,000 patients,” May 24, 2014.

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