Health Information Management

University of Oklahoma laptop theft affects thousands of patients

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 26, 2015

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 A laptop that might have contained PHI was stolen from a former University of Oklahoma Department of Urology physician, according to a statement released by the hospital.

The physician might have had a database spreadsheet saved on the laptop that contained PHI for pediatric patients he treated while he was still employed by the University of Oklahoma, according to the hospital. The PHI breached included:

  •  Patients’ names
  •  Diagnosis and treatment codes and dates
  •  Dates of birth
  •  Medical record numbers
  •  Descriptions of the treatment or procedure performed
  •  Treating physician’s name

Roughly 9,300 patients may be affected by this breach, according to HHS. The hospital says that most of the procedures that could be affected were performed between 1996 and 2009, and only impact pediatric patients who received urologic treatments. Social security numbers, addresses, credit card or account information were not included on the spreadsheet, according to the hospital’s statement. The laptop was password protected, but not encrypted.

The hospital reports that the theft occurred between July 16 and 17. The laptop was stolen from the physician’s car. Although the police were notified immediately, the hospital says they were not made aware of the potential breach until around August 14.

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