Blount Memorial Hospital Suffers Security Breach
Approximately 27,000 patients' personal data may have been exposed -- including 5,000 patients' Social Security numbers.
Tennessee's Blount Memorial Hospital recently announced [PDF file] that a laptop containing registration records was stolen from a hospital employee's home on August 25, and has not been recovered. "Although the laptop was password-protected and contained no medical information, it did contain some patient and responsible party non-medical information," the hospital states.
"The ... laptop contained registration records from Blount Heart Consultants on approximately 22,000 patients -- including their names, dates of birth, responsible party names, addresses, physician names and billing information," writes The Knoxville News Sentinel's Hayes Hickman. "The laptop also held records on approximately 5,000 additional patients, including the above information along with their Social Security numbers and other nonmedical data."
"At this point, hospital officials say they have no reason to believe that this information has been accessed or used improperly," The Daily Times reports. "However, as a precautionary measure, and based on its commitment to protecting its patients’ privacy, the hospital has notified the patients potentially affected by this incident."
"The hospital will also provide resources such as free credit reports," writes Becker's Hospital Review's Kathleen Roney.