RI: Lifespan notifying 20,000 patients after unencrypted laptop stolen from employee’s car
Lifespan is committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our patients’ information. Regrettably, this notice concerns an incident involving some of that information. To date, Lifespan has no indication that any patient information has been accessed or used by anyone as a result of this incident.
Lifespan is investigating the theft of an employee’s laptop from a car that was broken into on February 25, 2017. Several items were stolen, including a MacBook laptop used by the employee for work purposes. Upon discovering the theft, the employee immediately contacted law enforcement and reported the incident to Lifespan. Lifespan promptly began an investigation and changed the employee’s credentials used to access Lifespan system resources out of an abundance of caution.
Lifespan’s investigation determined that the MacBook was unencrypted and not password protected. The employee’s work emails stored on the MacBook were potentially accessible. Our investigation has determined that the emails may have contained patient information, including name, medical record number, demographic information such as partial address information, and the names of one or more medications that were prescribed or administered at Lifespan. The information contained in the emails did not include patient Social Security numbers or financial information, nor did it include clinical information such as diagnosis. No medical records were stored on the MacBook.
Lifespan is committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our patients’ information, and we deeply regret this incident occurred. In order to help prevent a similar incident from reoccurring, we are re-educating our employees and enhancing our policies and procedures related to the security of MacBooks.
We began mailing letters to affected individuals on April 21 and we have established a dedicated call center to answer any questions. If you believe you may be affected and have not received a letter by May 6 or have additional questions, please call our dedicated assistance line at (877) 216-4074, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time (closed on U.S. observed holidays) and provide reference number 8866040417 when calling.
According to local media who received a press release on the matter, Lifespan is notifying 20,000 patients.