Central Oregon Health Provider Says Stolen Personal Information Might Be At Risk

Dec 14, 2011

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Administrators at Central Oregon’s largest hospital say the theft of a work laptop
may have compromised the personal health information of more than 140 patients. St. Charles Health System alerted the patients to the theft in a letter sent last week. Lisa Goodman is a spokeswoman for St. Charles. She says patient's names, dates of birth and phone numbers had been saved on the computer. But she says those files had already been deleted when the computer was stolen. She also says the laptop was protected by a password, so it would take a person with advanced computer skills to retrieve the information.

Lisa Goodman: “We believe that this is what we consider a low-risk breach, but we still felt it was important to notify the affected patients.”

Goodman says the hospital is in the process of encrypting all hospital laptops that contain personal medical information. She says St. Charles does have a policy against leaving work laptops unattended and in plain view. But she says she doesn’t know where the computer was in the car when it was stolen.