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County: More Than 500 Hospital Patients' Data on Stolen Laptop

Data files loaded onto the laptop contained the names, birth dates, medical record numbers and test results of some patients, according to Riverside County Regional Medical Center.

An aerial view of the 517,000 square-foot complex, located in Moreno Valley. Photo courtesy: RBB Architects Inc.
An aerial view of the 517,000 square-foot complex, located in Moreno Valley. Photo courtesy: RBB Architects Inc.

An investigation was underway Wednesday to find the person responsible for stealing a computer from Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley that contained personal information on 563 patients.

"Protecting sensitive patient information is a golden rule in healthcare," said Jan Remm, assistant administrator for RCRMC. "We apologize for the inconvenience this incident has caused our patients."

Data files loaded onto the laptop contained the names, birth dates, medical record numbers and test results of patients who received electromyograms, which detect possible physical abnormalities by recording the electrical activity of nerves and muscles, Remm said.

Sheriff's investigators were reviewing hospital surveillance tapes in the hope of identifying the party involved in taking the computer from a hospital procedure room last week, according to RCRMC.

"We have no reason to believe the computer is missing because of the patient information it contained," Remm said. "But our job is to safeguard patients' privacy, and that's what we are focused on doing."

Hospital administrators said they were taking steps to prevent patient data from being compromised in the future, using encryption technology and by securing laptops to carts in which equipment is carried.

Patients with concerns about the data breach were encouraged to call RCRMC at (877) 500-1255. 


 – City News Service. 


 

Mr. Gordon Hendricks June 25, 2014 at 04:08 PM
This is just the new reality we all have to face. Until such a time comes where there are not magnetic strip cards or numbers that can be stolen, plan on your identity always being at risk no matter how careful you think you're being.
Paul Jacobs June 25, 2014 at 05:04 PM
The two biggest County boondoggles are the hospital and the IT Department. Millions of dollars are lost on these county-operated enterprises and now patient records go missing. Millions more go to consultants to fix the hospital the County can't manage. It's OK sheeple, go back to sleep and let the politicians decide these things without your input.
Mr. Gordon Hendricks June 25, 2014 at 05:09 PM
Paul, remind the "sheeple" as we are about to go back to sleep how Target, and other similarly large companies, have anything to do with politicians deciding things. This kind of thing happens EVERYWHERE, but let's use your story instead because it's more entertaining.
Steve M June 26, 2014 at 08:54 PM
I had a B of A cc that was hacked and they sent me a new one with a chip but so far only Walmart accommodates the "chip" with a second insertion place.... I'ts like an on going game with technology and scammers.

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