Santa Clara Valley Health System Admits Security Breach

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California's Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System (SCVHHS) recently began notifying an undisclosed number of patients that their medical information may have been accessed following a burglary.

On September 16, 2013, staff members discovered that an unencrypted laptop had been stolen from the SCVHHS Audiology Department over the preceding weekend.

The laptop, which was used for hearing screenings, contained patients' names, medical record numbers, birthdates, ages, genders, dates of service and brainwaves from testing.

"To protect against any further breaches and to ensure that all our patients [sic] information remains private, the Compliance & Privacy Officer will speak to the department heads to ensure proper policies and procedures are being followed; will provide a training for the department; and will educate any employee who breached a patients [sic] protected health information," SCVHHC acting compliance and privacy officer Lisa Pfeifer wrote in the notification letter [PDF].

No identity protection services are being offered to those affected. Patients with questions are advised to contact (408) 885-3794.