One of the fears of electronic health records is that personal information can be stolen en masse, a possibility that became a reality when a laptop computer was stolen at the Lexington Clinic.
The machine was taken Dec. 7 from the clinic's neurology department at the St. Joseph Office Park. Letters were sent to the 1,018 affected patients last week about the theft, Mary Meehan of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
The laptop contained the names, contact information and diagnoses from patients from as long as five years go. Not among the data were Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account numbers. So far, there is no sign of identify theft.
The clinic said it took six weeks to informing patients because it took time to "pinpoint exactly what information was on the laptop, which was used in conjunction with the clinic's electromyography machine," Meehan reports.
Another theft happened at UK HealthCare in June, when the medical records of 3,000 patients were taken from the Department of Pediatrics' newborn screening program. Patients were not informed of that breach until two months later. (Read more)