Apr 11, 2018
Chesapeake, Virginia based Chesapeake Regional Healthcare has informed that two hard drives having the protected health information (PHI) of roughly 2,100 patients are misplaced from their Chesapeake Regional Medical Center site at that location.
The secret health information stored on the appliances in question pertains to patients who took part in research at its Sleep Center between April 2015 and February 2018.
It is still not known precisely when the hard drives went missing. Chesapeake Regional Healthcare noticed that the appliances were not at their normal locations on February 6, 2018. An internal inquiry was kicked off, and a full search of the facility was carried out, but the appliances could not be regained. The lost hard drives have been filed as stolen/lost to police, however, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare said the possibility of the appliances being found now is low and it does think that the appliances will be found.
There was no encryption on the hard drives. If taken by a third party, the protected health information of patients might be accessed. The kinds of data stored on the appliances include names, details of the treatment, unique patient identifiers, birth dates, location information, and tests finished at the Sleep Center, and information on medicines that were given to patients. Social Security numbers, insurance information, addresses, and financial data were not recorded on the appliance in question.
Steps are being taken at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare to make sure similar breaches don’t happen going forward. These measures include improving policies linked to the safety of PHI recorded on moveable electronic storage appliances. It’s not clear whether the new processes will include data encryption on appliances.
Presently, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare is issuing notices to patients, who are being provided 12 months of free credit checking and identity theft protection services. Should any patients find out their health information has been used for ill means, extra assistance will be provided to help alleviate any harm experienced.