Hospital auditing company reports stolen laptop containing 31k patients' data

Seim Johnson, a hospital auditing company, has reported a laptop containing data from nearly 31,000 patients was stolen. McCook, Neb.-based CommunityHospital is notifying 4,200 patients that may been affected by the breach, according to the McCook Gazette.

The information contained on the laptop included personal patient identifiers, such as names and patient account or medical record numbers. Social Security numbers may have been included for some individuals, but no financial information was compromised, according to the Gazette.

HHS' Office of Civil Rights data breach portal lists the laptop as containing data on 30,972 patients. Thus far it is unclear where the tens of thousands of unnotified patients receive care.

"Any patients who were potentially impacted by this situation have received letters from Seim Johnson notifying them of the event," Rachel Berry, CommunityHospital director of health information management and privacy officer, told the Gazette. "We are not aware of any activity that would make us believe the information has actually been accessed or viewed on the stolen laptop computer."

The laptop belonged to a Seim Johnson employee and was reported stolen in December. While Seim Johnson has verified the laptop was outfitted with encryption software, it can't say with certainty that the software was functioning properly. 

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