Personal information may have been exposed when a laptop was stolen from an employee’s office of New Mexico Oncology and Hematology Consultants (NMOHC). NMOHC started notifying affected customers about the data theft incident. They were advised to monitor their credit reports and financial accounts for any unauthorized activity.
As 12,354 cancer patients’ data has been compromised there is possible violation of protected health information (PHI). PHI includes names, birthdates, addresses, diagnostic results or information related to treatment and insurance information. No Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers were on the laptop.
NMOHC was not aware about any unauthorized activity related to stolen information but they are instructing customers to report same.
The organization said in a statement on its Web site. “While NMOHC hopes to recover the stolen computer and PHI, that may not be possible,” adding, “In an attempt to prevent further breaches of PHI, NMOHC has increased physical security safeguards as well as implementing additional security safeguards on all laptops. NMOHC is also strengthening other aspects of its internal HIPAA security program.”
With the important information like PHI being stolen more actions are taken by the organization to prevent data loss.
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Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.