A laptop computer that might have contained limited medical information on pediatric patients has been stolen from a secure area of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, officials announced today.
The laptop was discovered missing from a secured, badge-access-controlled area of the hospital on May 8 and was reported by an employee. The hospital immediately launched an investigation with Stanford Department of Public Safety and hospital security, officials said in a statement. The laptop has not been found.
The computer is thought to contain operating-room schedules during a three-year period beginning in 2009. Hospital officials are not certain which operating schedules were on the computer, but 12,900 potentially affected patients are being notified by mail out of caution, they said.
The information would include patient name, age, medical record number, telephone number, scheduled surgical procedure, and the names of physicians involved in the surgery, officials said.
There is no evidence that any pediatric patient data has been accessed or otherwise compromised, they added. Financial or credit card information, Social Security numbers, insurance numbers or any other marketable information were not on the computer.
The laptop was outdated and damaged, and was on a schedule to have its data removed by information technologists, officials said.
The hospital is taking the breach very seriously, they added.
"Lucile Packard Children's Hospital strives to be an industry leader in the area of medical information security. As a result of this incident, we are taking additional steps to further strengthen our policies and controls surrounding the protection of patient data to reduce the chance that an incident of this type will happen again," officials said.
The hospital is offering a year of identity-theft protection at no cost to potentially-affected families who wish to have it and is establishing a call center to answer questions from families. The toll-free number is 855-683-1168, and is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.