William Beaumont Hospital , Royal Oak , Mich. , said it recovered a laptop computer containing personal information, including medical data, on patients in its home-care division. The laptop was stolen from a nurse's car Aug. 5. The two-hospital system said an independent forensic computer expert determined that the patient information was not accessed. A witness who saw the crime returned the laptop Wednesday after the system announced the loss of the computer and offered a $2,500 reward, said Chris Hengstebeck, security director at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, Mich., which oversees the home-care division. According to Hengstebeck, the nurse's husband interrupted an attempted theft of the car. The perpetrator ran off with the laptop and dumped it during the chase. A witness, who Hengstebeck declined to identify, retrieved the computer but did not know what to do with it.Hengstebeck said the system has taken disciplinary action against the nurse because a password and ID access code necessary to retrieve the information were kept with the computer. "Had that not occurred, this would have been a non-event," he said. He declined to elaborate on the disciplinary action. Hengstebeck said the system has visually checked all home-care laptops to ensure passwords and access codes are not kept with the electronic device. Beaumont also is evaluating its data needs to see if all information stored on the laptopsis necessary or if older data could be archived elsewhere, he said.
Mich. system recovers stolen computer
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