Six laptop and tablet computers were stolen from the hospice offices of Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital during a burglary in June. The hospital is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether or not any Protected Health Information (PHI) was compromised, although it does not believe that such information was targeted in the thefts.
According to Northwestern, the devices were undergoing a software upgrade at the time, and standard security controls had been suspended as a result, leaving the devices more vulnerable than usual. The hospital has begun notifying potentially impacted patients or their families of the theft and will provide them with a credit bureau monitoring service. Information on the computers may have contained patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and medical and insurance information.
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