A stolen laptop may have contained information about nearly 3,600 Children’s Hospital Los Angeles patients, spurring the hospital to warn families who might have been affected.
The laptop, which belonged to a physician, was taken out of a locked car during an October burglary, according to the hospital.
The computer may have stored names, addresses, medical record numbers and some clinical information about patients. The laptop was protected with a password, but the hospital says it is unclear if it was “encrypted to current institutional standards.”
Based on an investigation, “we believe that all data may have been erased from the device without any patient data being accessed,” hospital spokesman Lorenzo Benet said in a statement.
However, the hospital said that it was mailing letters to thousands of patients “out of an abundance of caution.”
Patients who receive letters from the hospital will be instructed to carefully review their health insurance documents for any signs that their information is being misused.