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Security Breach in Orange County – St. Jude Heritage Healthcare Has 22 Computers Stolen And 22,000 Members Notified

Posted Apr 29 2010 10:57am

The encryption process came a little too late here, was in progress but not completed.  Five of the stolen computers contained records that were password image protected but not encrypted.  Here’s the link to the insurance companies they represent and work with.

Just for the mention here while on the topic, don’t forget there’s a lot of data being potentially crafted with loss with copy machines too that are on networks today too.

Security with medical records important?  You bet it is and not to be taken lightly. Again the practice of having patient files on computers and not accessed from secured servers still boggles my mind a bit as that seems to be how most all breaches are taking place today.  Depending how strong the passwords are and the ability of the thieves to crack them will determine if the information does in fact get used potentially.  BD 

St. Jude Heritage Medical Group in Fullerton has notified about 22,000 patients that their personal health and financial data might have been accessed after five computers were stolen.

Heritage, which is affiliated with St. Jude Medical Center, sent letters about the theft last week, according to hospital spokeswoman Dru Ann Copping.

The stolen data was password protected but not encrypted. Patient information might have included Social Security numbers, date of birth and diagnosis. The medical group is offering fraud monitoring services to patients, who are also urged to put fraud alerts on their credit files.

Fullerton police are investigating. In all, 22 computers were stolen, but only five contained patient records. Earlier this year, the medical group started encrypting medical data, but the process hasn't been completed.

Patients with questions should call St. Jude Heritage at (800) 627-8106.

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