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Medical theft endangers 206,000 patients' medical records

Medical theft endangers 206,000 patients' medical records
photo courtesy of shutterstock

The medical world's transition to the digital age has been anything but smooth. Medical data breaches are rampant and just last month a hospital had to shut down after a ransomware virus locked up its systems.

That trend continues this week with Premier Healthcare in Bloomington, Indiana. An unknown thief stole a laptop containing medical information out of a secure, locked administrative area. The laptop has a password, but the hard drive isn't encrypted, which means the information on it is at serious risk. What information does it contain?

The laptop has names, addresses, birth dates, medical record numbers, insurance information and some health information for 205,748 patients. It also had Social Security numbers and financial information for 1,769 of those patients.

Premier Healthcare says it's reviewing its security procedures and will start encrypting the hard drives of its computers. However, for a large number of its patients, the damage could already be done.

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