Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge issued this statement today:
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center has determined that a laptop computer containing limited health information for former Intensive Care Unit patients was discovered to be missing from a local physician office sometime between March 16 and 20, 2012. An extensive search was initiated as soon as the incident was discovered. Investigation of the incident continues and we have reported this occurrence to law enforcement. We will continue to share updated information. We are sorry this incident occurred and assure our patients and the community that we are committed to protecting patients’ personal information.
The data stored on the laptop computer was being used for a project that required the collection of certain quality and patient outcomes data and covered 17,130 patients in the adult ICU from 2000 to 2008. The data included information such as patient name, age, race, dates of admission and discharge from the Intensive Care Unit, and results of treatment. The data did not include patients’ financial information, social security numbers, addresses, or date of birth. There is no evidence at this time that the information has been misused or that there was any malicious intent.
We regularly review our physical and electronic safeguards to ensure that personally identifiable information remains private and secure. In light of this incident, we are taking additional, aggressive steps to examine new ways to further secure our data and prevent similar occurrences in the future. The plan includes additional education, greater physical and encryption controls and an organization-wide personal device inventory.
In compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), we will inform patients affected through personal letters mailed to their homes beginning May 18, 2012. We have also established a dedicated call center to address patient concerns and questions.The toll free number 1-877-615-3782 will also become operational on May 18, 2012 and will be available from 8:00am to 8:00pm CDT Monday through Saturday. We are providing impacted patients personal credit monitoring services at no cost. Enrollment can be completed using the same toll free number for the call center.
We take our responsibility to safeguard personal information very seriously, and truly regret any concern or inconvenience this incident may have caused.