Notice to Patients Regarding Missing Laptop
Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (“Children’s”) is committed to the privacy and security of our patients’ information. Regrettably, this notice concerns an incident involving some of that information.
On April 9, 2013, Children’s learned that a password protected, unencrypted laptop was stolen from an operating room storage area between April 4 and April 9. We immediately notified the Dallas Police Department and began a thorough investigation to determine the information contained on the laptop. The laptop was used to conduct hearing tests and may have included patient names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, gender, medical record numbers, treating physicians, hearing test types and results, and parents’ names. No Social Security numbers were included on the laptop. The operating room storage room was behind a badge access door and monitored by a surveillance camera. The laptop was tethered with a cable lock to a biomedical equipment cart.
To date, law enforcement has been unable to locate the laptop. Detectives asked that Children’s withhold notification or public announcement of this incident until now and we are providing notice to our patients as quickly as possible.
This incident did not affect all Children’s patients, but only those receiving hearing tests from March 2007 to April 2013.
We have no reason to believe that the information on the computer has been accessed or used in any way. However, in an abundance of caution, we began sending letters to affected patients on July 5, 2013. We have also established a dedicated call center for patients to call with any questions. If you believe you are affected but have not received a letter by August 1, 2013, please call 1-877-867-7648 Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Central Time.
We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. To help prevent something like this from happening in the future, we are conducting a thorough review of our policies and procedures and continue to enhance our security practices for devices used in patient care areas.