UTHealth computer with patient information reported missing

August 28, 2013 5:58:30 PM PDT
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School say an unencrypted laptop computer containing information on nearly 600 patients has gone missing.

UTHealth officials the computer was discovered missing August 2 from a locked closet in a UT Physicians orthopedic clinic. It stored the names, birth dates and medical record numbers of 596 patients. However, it did not contain any of those patients' addresses, social security numbers, insurance or other financial information.

The computer was last used by the hospital July 19, and authorities don't think the information has been accessed or used by any unauthorized used.

"UT Physicians is committed to patient privacy and deeply regrets that this incident occurred. Encryption of all laptops has been the policy at UT Physicians and UTHealth for the last two years," the hospital wrote in a prepared statement. "To date, all known laptops ? more than 5,000 ? have been encrypted. The medical group and UTHealth have taken steps to ensure that the missing laptop in the orthopedic clinic is an isolated incident."

The hospital says no other equipment has gone missing, and they're taking the proper steps to encrypt all patient information.

Police are investigating the incident.

Patients who would like more information are encouraged to contact the Privacy Office at 713-500-3391, email privacy@uth.tmc.edu or write to the Privacy Office at 7000 Fannin, Suite 1477, Houston, Texas 77030.

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