CA: Internist notifying patients following office burglary
A San Pablo internist, Sharon J. Jones, M.D., is notifying patients after burglars stole patient files in both electronic and paper formats. The burglary occurred on March 20, and according to Dr. Jones, “approximately 17 patient charts were stolen along with one desktop computer, two laptops and our server.” The burglary was discovered the next morning, and the police notified.
A second break-in attempt 3 days later was thwarted by a security guard that the doctor hired after the first break-in. The doctor also made plans to move the office to a different location.
The stolen hardware contained information on patients going back to 2007:
Pertinently, the password protected computers contained a list of all of the patients affected by our January break-in and their addresses. Further, it included a copy of the letters I have written either to a patient, or on his/her behalf since 2007. Thus, if I have prepared a letter for you or on your requested behalf (e.g., for housing), it was potentially breached on the password protected computers. Specifically, the letters contained a patient’s: first and last name, address, date of birth, and basic medical information regarding the purpose of the letter. Significantly, the letters did not contain social security numbers nor financial information.
You can read the full notification on the California Attorney General’s web site (pdf).