Personal data was on missing ARMC server

October 2, 2007

By Lee Shearer

A computer missing from a Regional First Care clinic in Watkinsville held the personal information of more than 1,400 people, according to Athens Regional Health Services, the parent corporation of Athens Regional Medical Center and the clinic.

Workers at the 1010 Village Drive clinic first noticed on Sept. 24 that the Dell Optiplex GX-620 computer was missing.

The computer held Social Security numbers for 85 people, some health information for 545 people and the name, address and/or telephone numbers of 811 people, ARHS chief information officer Timothy Penning said in a news release Tuesday.

No credit card or other financial information was stored on the computer, which was a backup server for the Watkinsville clinic.

The computer did not have access to patient records from affiliated ARHS organizations such as Athens Regional Medical Center, or from other Regional First Care clinics, said ARMC spokeswoman Elaine Cook.

Cook said everyone whose information was on the computer should get a letter or phone call from Regional First Care within a week.

Workers started calling people on the list Tuesday, she said.

Through late Tuesday afternoon, no one had reported any evidence that confidential information had been read, shared or used in any way, she said.

Concerned patients can call a special number set up by ARHS, (706) 475-4369.

Athens Regional Health Services also announced Tuesday that it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the return of the computer. The theft is being investigated by the Oconee County Sheriff's Office.

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