The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is notifying about 30,000 patients that a computer containing patient information was stolen from a physician's home.
Information on the computer included patient names, medical record numbers, treatment and/or research information and some Social Security numbers, MD Anderson said in a news release
. A spokeswoman said that approximately 30,000 patients may have been affected; notification letters began going out Thursday, the Houston cancer center said in the release. The theft occurred April 30.
"MD Anderson takes this incident very seriously and is committed to protecting patient privacy," according to the release. A criminal investigation is ongoing and MD Anderson is working with law enforcement to recover the computer, the center said. Credit-monitoring services are being offered to individuals whose Social Security numbers were on the computer.
MD Anderson said it is accelerating previously begun efforts to encrypt all of the center's computers and is reinforcing its privacy policies with employees, according to the release.