Rhode Island’s Lifespan Informs 20k Patients of Data Breach | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Rhode Island’s Lifespan Informs 20k Patients of Data Breach

April 24, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Providence, R.I.-based Lifespan, the state’s first health system, is notifying patients about a theft of an employee’s laptop that may have contained sensitive patient information.

In February, several items were stolen from the employee’s car, including a MacBook laptop used by the employee for work purposes. Upon discovering the theft, the employee immediately contacted law enforcement and reported the incident to Lifespan. Lifespan then began an investigation and changed the employee’s credentials used to access Lifespan system resources out of an abundance of caution, the organization said in a statement.

The Providence Journal has reported that the healthcare organization “has notified about 20,000 patients of the theft of an employee’s laptop containing patient information.”

An investigation determined that the MacBook was unencrypted and not password protected, and the employee’s work emails stored on the MacBook were potentially accessible. It was also determined that the emails may have contained patient information, including name, medical record number, demographic information such as partial address information, and the names of one or more medications that were prescribed or administered at Lifespan. The information contained in the emails did not include patient Social Security numbers or financial information, nor did it include clinical information such as diagnosis. No medical records were stored on the MacBook, according to the provider.

Lifespan began mailing letters to affected individuals on April 21 and has established a call center to answer any questions. The organization said in a statement, “In order to help prevent a similar incident from reoccurring, we are re-educating our employees and enhancing our policies and procedures related to the security of MacBooks.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.

Analysis: Healthcare Ransomware Attacks Decline in First Half of 2018

In the first half of 2018, ransomware events in major healthcare data breaches diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a new report form cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

Dignity Health, UCSF Health Partner to Improve the Digital Patient Experience

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a digital engagement platform that officials believe will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.