Breach, Data Security

Stanford Hospital computer with patient data stolen

The computer theft marks the second breach of patient data in a year at Stanford Hospital in California.

How many victims? Approximately 2,500 patients.

What type of personal information? Medical and personal data, which may include patients' Social Security numbers.

What happened? A computer storing patients' private information was stolen sometime between July 15 and 16 from a doctor's locked office at Stanford Hospital.  

What was the response? The hospital, part of the Stanford University Medical Center, is working with law enforcement to find the thief and recover the computer. In addition, officials announced that letters will be sent to patients whose information may have been on the computer. A help line for patients seeking more information also has been set up. 

Details: No patients had their complete medical records or health history stored on the stolen computer. The theft follows an occurrence last year where data on 20,000 Stanford Hospital patients was breached after the contents of a spreadsheet were posted online.

Source:, Palo Alto Online, “Computer with patient info stolen from Stanford,” Aug. 3, 2012.

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