Last month’s disappearance of a laptop from an employee’s locked car has determined Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth officials to send letters to 6000 of their patients, warning them of a potential threat against their private information.
The computer in question contained hospital account numbers, medical record numbers, names, addresses, and other patient and health information. However, no Social Security numbers or other sensitive information like insurance information or credit card information were stored on it. As the laptop and the employee’s desktop computer were synced, technicians were able to determine what exactly was lost.
Hospital spokeswoman Michele Hutchins said the hospital believes the information might not be on the laptop any longer.”Most likely this computer has been scrubbed, because the person who took it is was most interested in the hardware, but you can’t assume that,” she added.
As the information is encoded, it is very difficult to access or translate it, but 6000 patients have been notified an measures have been taken in order to improve security. The employee who had the laptop has resigned in the mean time.
“That management level administrator has since resigned because the confidential information was only designed to stay on the hospital’s secure server and not be saved on the hard drive of a portable computer,” said Michele Hutchins.