Valley Community Healthcare notifies patients after laptop with their information was stolen

Valley Community Healthcare in California is notifying some patients who underwent cardiogram testing.

In a letter dated March  9, Paul Wilson, President/CEO and Roger A. Meeks, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, informed patients:

On February 24, 2015 we discovered that a laptop computer attached to the Electrocardiogram (EKG) machine in the General Medicine department was missing.

The laptop, which was (only) password-protected and required user authentication,  contained patients’ names and dates of birth, but no Social Security numbers, Driver’s License/California Identification Card numbers or any financial account information was entered in the laptop.

In response to the breach, VCH is adding additional security measures, including IT encryption and storage of medical databases, and securing computers so that they cannot be removed.

The incident was reported to the North Hollywood Police Department (Report # 150224003504) the day the laptop was discovered missing, and a copy of the notification letter was submitted today to the California Attorney General’s Office.

The letter does not indicate how many patients were being notified. Nor does it indicate how far back the patient information on the laptop went.

Those notified were given some advice as to how to protect themselves, but were not offered any free services.


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