Notice to Indiana University Health Arnett patients regarding missing laptop

Indiana University Health Arnett, Inc. (“Arnett”) is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of the personal information provided to us. Regrettably, this notice concerns some of that information.

On April 10, 2013, we learned that an employee’s password-protected unencrypted laptop was stolen from the employee’s car the day before.  The White County Sheriff’s Office was immediately contacted and we began an internal investigation. That investigation determined that the laptop contained patient information. Emails stored on the laptop’s hard drive may have contained patient names, dates of birth, physicians’ names, medical record numbers, diagnoses and dates of service. The laptop did not contain Social Security numbers, financial information, or patients’ medical records.

While Arnett has no reason to believe the information on this laptop has been improperly accessed or used, we believe as a precaution it was important to tell our patients this happened.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Arnett takes very seriously its obligation to keep the information it maintains secure and we appreciate the trust that you place in us. Arnett is reviewing its policies and procedures to minimize the chance of such an incident occurring in the future. In addition, Arnett has mandatory privacy and security training for all of its workforce members.

We value our patients, and began mailing letters to the affected patients on May 10, 2013. If you believe you are affected but do not receive a letter by May 31, 2013, or if you have any questions regarding this incident, please call 1.888.722.0627 Monday through Friday between 9 am and 7 pm Eastern Time and enter or say the following telephone pass code 2121447 when prompted.

SOURCE:  Indiana University Health

So they have “no reason to believe the information has been accessed?” Do they have any reason to believe it hasn’t been? Was the laptop installed with any protections that would have notified them?  And was the employee violating policy by (1) not having encryption deployed and (2) leaving the laptop in a car?  Was this an IUHA-issued laptop or the employee’s personal laptop that was used to access work-related emails?

JCONline adds a statement from Arnett as to the delay in notification:

The original release from IU Health Arnett did not explain why the theft was not made public until May 10. When asked that question, Fuqua issued the following statement:

“Arnett is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of the patient information provided to us, and we worked hard to notify our patients as soon as possible. As soon as we learned of the theft on April 10, we immediately began a thorough internal investigation to determine which of our patients were affected and what information was included.”


In other words, they didn’t really explain why it took one month to notify.

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