Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is alerting patients of a possible data breach stemming from the theft of a physician’s personal laptop from a hospital office. A suspect has been arrested in the May 22nd theft, but the stolen computer has not been recovered.
Protected Health Information (PHI) for approximately 3,900 patients was contained on the laptop, although the hospital has stated that neither complete medical records nor any financial information was on the computer, and “nothing that would be used from an identity theft perspective.” While Beth Israel Deaconess normally encrypts data on company-issued computers, the stolen laptop was a personal device and therefore the information was not encrypted. The experience has prompted a policy change to require mandatory encryption on any device that is used with patient-related or administrative data. Security in the center’s facilities has also been increased.
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