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Georgia Health Sciences University Reports Data Breach

March 21, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Augusta, Ga.-based Georgia Health Sciences University has announced a breach in its research medical school that affects 513 patients. The breach occurred when there was a theft of a laptop computer that may have contained some of the patients’ personal information.

According to Georgia Health Sciences University (GSHU), the theft occurred on Jan. 18, when a nurse practitioner who works in sickle cell clinics across Georgia, including the Georgia Health Sciences Adult Sickle Cell Clinic, had a laptop computer stolen from her home. The information in the records on the laptop was limited to name, date of birth, limited diagnosis information and an internal code associated with the patient’s laboratory tests says officials from the medical school. They say the records did not include addresses, Social Security numbers or financial information.

The theft was reported to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, as well as campus Public Safety and privacy and security officers.

“Everyone at Georgia Health Sciences is committed to protecting our patients’ privacy and we greatly regret this incident,” Christine Adams, enterprise privacy officer at Georgia Health Sciences, said in a statement. “We have taken steps to further strengthen our security efforts and are making every attempt to personally notify patients whose information may have been involved.”

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