Riverside County reports data breach following laptop theft

A laptop reported missing from Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, Calif., may contain the data of 7,900 patients who received ophthalmology and dermatology services.

The laptop was reported missing Dec.1, and the hospital has been working with law enforcement since to conduct a thorough internal investigation. Patients who received those services between Jan. 26, 2012 and Nov. 26, 2014 may have had their data compromised by the theft, according to a Jan. 29 news release from the hospital.

Birth dates, names, social security numbers, health policy numbers and some clinical information may have been compromised.

The hospital is working with cybersecurity experts to encrypt the rest of its data and has contacted patients by letter to inform them that their data might be compromised. Jan Remm, RCRMC's chief compliance officer, said in the release that she had no reason to believe the device had been stolen to access patient data, but patients are invited to contact the hospital about the potential breach.

This is the third missing laptop from the hospital in less than a year, according to the hospital news archives. After one laptop containing approximately 563 electromyogram patients' data was reported missing in June, another containing approximately 7,313 rehabilitation patients' data was reported missing in late September.

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