Laptop with patient information stolen from Emory clinic

A laptop stolen from a vehicle at an Emory Healthcare clinic contained limited information for 826 patients, the university said Monday.

On Feb. 7, a car belonging to an employee of the Emory Dialysis Clinic was one of several broken into, according to Vince Dollard, spokesman for the university's health services. An employee of Health Systems Management, which operates the clinic, reported that his work laptop was stolen, Dollard said.

The computer had a one-word password and was not encrypted, Emory said.

Although patient information was on the laptop, the information was very limited, the university said in an emailed statement.

"There were no patient Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, financial credit card information, diagnosis or physician names in the laptop," Emory said.

Information on the laptop includes last names and first names for about half of the 826 patients, and the first initial for the remaining patients. The patients' dates of service and graphs of blood flow tests were also stored on the computer, the university said.

"HSM has instituted process changes to protect against a similar event occurring in the future," the university said. "Medical information stored on HSM laptops is required to be encrypted, as well as password-protected."

All of the patients whose information was on the laptop were notified by mail, Dollard said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.