Trashed laptop contained patient information

Be careful where you put your laptop. An Ohio group learned that lesson the hard way after a laptop left next to a waste can was thrown out by cleaning personnel who assumed it was meant for trash. The laptop contained information on 1,309 patients.

In a notice on their web site, Wright State Physicians report that they first became aware of the June 11 mistake on June 14, but efforts to retrieve the laptop failed. The laptop reportedly wound up covered by dirt in a landfill on June 16.

The laptop, which was password-protected, reportedly contained:

names of patients treated for vascular conditions in various local hospitals during the past four year period, dates of service, and, in some cases, a brief description of medical care. The information included on the laptop did not contain any social security numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers, financial information, address information, or telephone numbers.

The practice notified HHS of the incident today.

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