Laptop Theft Exposes 548 Neurology Patients' Information

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The Business Journal reports that North Carolina's Cornerstone Health Care is notifying 548 patients of Cornerstone Neurology that their personal information may have been exposed when a laptop was stolen earlier this year (h/t PHIprivacy.net).

The laptop, which was used exclusively for performing nerve conduction tests, was discovered missing on January 6, 2014, and is believed to have been stolen at some point during the previous week.

The laptop contained patient names, birthdates, physician names and results of nerve conduction tests, though it didn't contain Social Security numbers, addresses or financial information.

Cornerstone general counsel Katie Henry told the Business Journal that the delay in notifying patients was caused by the effort to determine exactly what data was on the laptop. "This wasn't one of our laptops that our providers use to see all of our patients," Henry said. "Because this computer isn't integrated into our systems, we didn't have an easy way to figure out what patients might have been involved."

"To help prevent similar events in the future, we have installed new locks on all rooms in the facility that contain electronic devices, reviewed our information privacy and security policies, and provided education and training to Cornerstone staff regarding the importance of securing patient information," Cornerstone said in a statement.

Patients with questions are advised to contact (844) 201-4310.