Stolen Laptops Compromise Patient Data at Elliot Hospital

Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., has reported the theft of four laptops containing patient information.

The hospital became aware of the theft March 27. According to the notice Elliot Hospital sent to the New Hampshire Department of Justice, the information of two New Hampshire residents may have been accessed, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, Social Security numbers and medical insurance numbers.

However, a WMUR report says the laptops contained information relating to 1,213 patients.

The laptops were stolen from an employee's car who was taking the laptops to a location to be destroyed, according to the WMUR report.

John Friberg, senior vice president of Elliot Hospital, said "this is not a situation involving the breach of electronic medical records," according to the WMUR report. "In fact, none of the information involved any medical records. For instance, nothing on these four PCs related to any medical history of any patients."

The hospital has sent notices to the affected individuals.

"We take the privacy and security of personal information very seriously and maintain policies and procedures to protect the confidentiality of such information," said Darlene Palewitz, corporate compliance and privacy officer of Elliot Health System, in the letter to the New Hampshire DOJ. "We have taken appropriate measures to the best of our ability to prevent a reoccurrence."

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