John Muir Health System Notifying 5,450 Patients of Possible Data Breach
On Monday, the hospital system John Muir Health began sending letters to notify 5,450 patients about a possible breach of their personal and health information, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The notifications come two months after two laptop computers were stolen from the John Muir Physician Network Perinatal office in Walnut Creek.
Experts said the laptops contained personal and health data going back more than three years.
John Muir officials said that they began the notification process as soon as they identified the missing information and affected patients.
Hala Helm -- John Muir's vice president and chief compliance and privacy officer -- said the laptops were password protected. She added that officials have no evidence that the information has been accessed or used improperly.
Fallout From Breach
The Walnut Creek Police Department is investigating the theft. John Muir also has notified HHS about the potential privacy breach.
The hospital system is recommending that affected patients place fraud alerts on their credit files. John Muir also said it will provide no-cost identify theft protection for one year.
As a result of the incident, John Muir has started installing data encryption software and implementing other security measures (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.