Lifespan notifies patients of privacy incident

NBC10 Photo

In a news release on Friday, Lifespan announced that it is notifying individuals related to a privacy incident involving certain patient information.

In the statement, Lifespan said it has has no indication that any patient information has been accessed or used by anyone as a result of this incident, to date.

Lifespan is investigating the theft of an employee’s laptop from a car that was broken into on February 25, 2017. Several items were stolen, including a MacBook laptop used by the employee for work purposes. Upon discovering the theft, the employee immediately contacted law enforcement and reported the incident to Lifespan. Lifespan promptly began an investigation and changed the employee’s credentials used to access Lifespan system resources out of an abundance of caution.

Lifespan’s investigation determined that the MacBook was unencrypted and not password protected. The employee’s work emails stored on the MacBook were potentially accessible. The investigation has determined that the emails may have contained patient information, including name, medical record number, demographic information such as partial address information, and the names of one or more medications that were prescribed or administered at Lifespan.

Lifespan said the information contained in the emails did not include patient Social Security numbers or financial information, nor did it include clinical information such as diagnosis. No medical records were stored on the MacBook. Lifespan is notifying approximately 20,000 Lifespan patients.

In the statement Lifespan went on to say that they are committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of their patients’ information, and they deeply regret this incident occurred. In order to help prevent a similar incident from reoccurring, Lifespan is re-educating its employees and enhancing policies and procedures related to the security of MacBooks.

Lifespan began mailing letters to affected individuals on April 21, 2017 and has established a dedicated call center to answer any questions. For additional information about this incident, click here.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off