[ Thursday, August 24, 2006 ]


Another Laptop Theft: This time, it's in Michigan, and again it's home health. Understandable that home health nurses should need to be carrying around laptops, and that those laptops would have PHI on them (although central server technology would be better, lack of wifi or other connectability concerns might require that the info be on the hard drive). Was the data at least access and password protected? Yes it was. That should be the end of the story, right? Wrong; the nurse left her access code and password with the laptop.

Still, it's probably a crackhead stealing the laptop to fence it (scrubbed of data that could be used to identify it as stolen), rather thsn someone trying to steal PHI about Aunt Edna's bad hip.

UPDATE: That was fast -- they found the laptop and determined that the data had not been accessed. The laptop was in a car that was stolen, and a witness saw the car thief throw away the laptop, which the witness recovered. The witness didn't know what to do with the laptop, but figured out what to do with it when the hospital offered a $2,500 reward.

Jeff [10:21 AM]

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