Laptop with patient information missing from Providence

August 11, 2007

By Rebecca Palsha

A laptop computer that contains the personal information of up to 250 patients is missing from Providence Alaska Medical Center.

There are concerns that private information might get into the wrong hands.

Providence started calling patients today to tell them about the missing computer. Hospital officials say it hasn't been stolen, but no one has seen it since May 31.

Providence spokesperson Becky Hultberg said the information on the laptop is limited to oncology patients.

"This is a limited group of oncology patients who would have been seen at Providence between Aug. 2005 and May 2007. We have no information that it would be more than that specific group," Hultberg said.

It was back on May 31when the computer went missing and the last time it was seen was at a tumor convention.

On it are names, medical record numbers, dates of birth and patient diagnoses.

"There could have been social security numbers and addresses on there, but we don't believe that was the case for the majority of the information," Hultberg said.

Anchorage police say if people are concerned their personal information might be in the hands of someone with bad intensions, to contact their credit agency for help.

"If persons' info starts being compromised, the best thing is to contact the credit agency to put a flag and be alerted any time your identification is compromised," Lt. Paul Honeman said.

Until then, Providence is offering free credit monitoring. The number to contact is 1-888-387-3392.

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