Memorial Hospital loses laptop containing sensitive employee data

February 7, 2008

By Leanne Tokars

Memorial Hospital has notified employees that a laptop containing personal information is missing.

An employee lost the laptop while traveling in November.

This week employees received a letter warning them that the missing computer contains their names, addresses, birth dates, ID numbers and social security numbers.

"The laptop she had was not encrypted. We were in the process of doing that for all our laptops, which we'll have done now probably in the next week or so," said Dr. George Soper, vice president of Human Resources at Memorial Hospital. "This is an unfortunate situation and something you can never take lightly."

Soper says the employee had carried the laptop on an American Airlines flight, but the flight attendant took it away because there wasn't any room to store it where she was sitting.

Memorial waited to inform employees until investigations by both American Airlines and the hospital were finished.

It affects about 4,300 full and part-time employees and retirees.

Memorial is offering to monitor their credit report for one year for free.

"We've had maybe 50, 60 calls from that population so far and some are pretty upset about it, some curious, but yeah, there's concern about it," said Soper.

Employees at Memorial tell WSBT they are upset but wouldn't go on camera for fear of losing their jobs.

They're now hoping their personal information is not accessed on the lost laptop.

The laptop did not contain any patient information.

Employees have to sign up if they want to take part in the free credit monitoring.

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