Skip to content Skip to navigation

Indiana Hospital Notifies 29,000 Patients of Data Breach

January 2, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Indiana’s Gibson General Hospital has mailed letters to approximately 29,000 patients informing them of the theft of a hospital laptop containing personal health information. The information may have included a patient's name, address, social security number and/or clinical information.

The 70-bed hospital says it took immediate steps to investigate and attempt to recover the laptop and to prevent further access to its information system via the laptop, which had security features in place, including password protection. The laptop was reported stolen, along with several other items, from an employee's home during a burglary on Nov. 27. It has not yet been recovered, but Gibson General Hospital administration continues to work closely with local law enforcement in their investigation.

"There is no evidence to believe that the data on the laptop was the target of the theft or that any information has been or will be accessed for fraudulent purposes," Emmett Schuster, Gibson General Hospital president and CEO said in a statement. "As a precautionary measure and part of Gibson General Hospital's commitment to protecting patient privacy, we are notifying all patients potentially impacted by the incident."

The laptop was used by a hospital employee whose job requires 24/7 access to the hospital's electronic medical records (EMR) system. Information accessed on that laptop may have automatically been saved to the laptop by the software utilized to perform those job duties. Without the laptop, the hospital is unable to determine with certainty whose information is affected.



EHNAC and HITRUST Combine HIPAA Security Criteria, CSF Framework

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.

Halamka on MACRA Final Rule: “CMS is Listening and I Thank Them”

Health IT notable expert John Halamka, M.D., CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, recently weighed in on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule.

Texas Patient Care Clinic Hit with Ransomware Attack

Grand Prairie, Texas-based Rainbow Children's Clinic was the victim of a ransomware attack on its IT systems in August, affecting more than 33,000 patients, according to multiple news media reports this week.

Healthcare Organizations Again Go to Bat for AHRQ

Healthcare organizations are once again urging U.S. Senate and House leaders to protect the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from more budget cuts for 2017.

ONC Pilot Projects Focus on Using, Sharing Patient-Generated Health Data

Accenture Federal Services (AFS) has announced two pilot demonstrations with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to determine how patient-generated health data can be used by care teams and researchers.

Is it Unethical to Identify Patients as “Frequent Flyers” in Health IT Systems?

Several researchers from the University of Pennsylvania addressed the ethics of behavioral health IT as it relates to “frequent flyer” icons and the potential for implicit bias in an article published in JAMA.