UCLA Health System Notifies 16,000 Patients of Stolen Hard Drive
On Friday, UCLA Health System officials announced that an external hard drive housing the personal information of 16,288 patients was stolen from a physician's home, the Los Angeles Times reports (Gorman, Los Angeles Times, 11/5).
The burglary took place Sept. 6. The affected individuals were patients at the health system from July 2007 to July 2011 (AP/New York Times, 11/4).
Details of the Stolen Data
The patient data on the lost hard drive were encrypted. However, a piece of paper that had the password to decode the information also is missing.
The physician notified UCLA the day after the incident.
The patient information included:
- First and last names;
- Some birth dates;
- Health record numbers; and
- Health information.
UCLA officials said they do not think the data have been accessed or misused, but they warned affected patients of the possibility of identity theft and are referring individuals to a data security company (Los Angeles Times, 11/5).
The health system said, "UCLA is reviewing its policies and procedures and will make any necessary revisions to help reduce the likelihood of such an incident occurring again" (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 11/5).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.