FHN Healthcare, which runs FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, IL, and a group of family healthcare centers located in northwest Illinois, has discovered that a laptop computer storing the protected health information of 4,458 clients has been stolen from the car of a staff member.
Upon discovery, the theft was swiftly reported to law enforcement agencies, but the device has not been located as of yet. FHN Healthcare were able to retrieve the data stored on the device and found that it contained names, addresses, birth dates, medical record numbers, health insurance information, medical information, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license details.
FHN healthcare encrypts all its laptop computing devices, although the investigation into the incident showed that the stolen device had not been encrypted and was only secured with a password. FHN revealed that the lack of encryption was due to a technical issue with its encryption software and that the ignored the stolen device was an isolated incident.
The identification of the encryption failure has lead to FHN Healthcare to re-encrypt all its laptop computing devices. The staff members who was issued with the laptop has been retrained on securing mobile devices and the re-training has also been extended to other staff members.
All patients affected by the breach were alerted by mail on November 2, 2018. Patients whose Social Security number or driver’s license number were exposed have been offered free identity theft protection services for one year.