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Notice and Frequently Asked Questions about a recent laptop theft

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford is notifying patients by mail that a password-protected, non-functional laptop computer that could potentially contain limited medical information on pediatric patients was stolen from a secured, badge-access controlled area of the hospital sometime between May 2 and May 8, 2013. This incident was reported to Packard Children’s on May 8. Immediately following discovery of the theft, Packard Children’s launched an aggressive investigation with security and law enforcement.
 
To date, there is no evidence that any pediatric patient data has been accessed by an unauthorized person or otherwise compromised.
 
What medical information was on the laptop?
The information that could potentially have been on the stolen computer related to operating room schedules, which the employee accessed as part of her work functions through Packard Children’s secure and encrypted electronic systems. The computer was password protected, but some information could have transferred to the laptop, and the laptop was not encrypted. The computer was outdated and damaged, thus on a schedule for collection by information technologists.
 
The information did not include financial or credit card information, nor did it contain Social Security numbers, insurance numbers or any other marketable information. The information on the operating room schedule that could have transferred to the computer would have been patient names, ages, medical record number, telephone number, scheduled surgical procedure, and name of physicians involved in the procedure over a three-year period beginning in 2009. To date, there is no evidence that any patient data has been accessed by an unauthorized person or otherwise compromised.
 
How many patients were potentially affected?
Out of an abundance of caution, we are providing outreach to approximately 12,900 patients, and we are assuring they are notified promptly.
 
When did the notifications begin?
Notifications to federal and state regulators, affected individuals and parents, and the media are under way as of June 11. Due to the law enforcement investigation, such notifications were delayed, as permitted by law, to avoid impeding the investigation.
 
How are potentially affected individuals being notified?
In addition to the mailed letters, a toll-free phone line has been established to answer questions for those notified. The toll-free number is (855) 683-1168, and is available Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST. In addition, potentially affected individuals have been offered the option of free identity protection services.

How is the investigation proceeding?
Efforts to recover the computer have been unsuccessful. The law enforcement investigation has ended. 

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.
 
News Release:  Medical Center Report

Authors

About Stanford University School of Medicine

The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit med.stanford.edu/school. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health. For information about all three, please visit med.stanford.edu.

About Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Stanford Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. As a top-ranked children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report, we are a leader in providing world-class, nurturing care and achieving extraordinary outcomes in every pediatric and obstetric specialty. Stanford Children’s Health, providing everything from specialty care to general pediatrics, can be accessed through more than 60 locations across Northern California and 100 locations in the U.S. western region. As the pediatric and obstetric teaching hospital for the world-renowned Stanford University School of Medicine, we're cultivating the next generation of medical professionals and are at the forefront of scientific research to improve children’s health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at stanfordchildrens.org.