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Notice to our Patients of a Missing Thumb Drive

August 7, 2015 - We at Lawrence General Hospital value the importance of protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patients, employees and others who entrust us with their personal information. Regrettably, this notice is regarding an incident involving some of that information.

On June 9, 2015, we learned that an unencrypted thumb drive containing limited patient information was missing from an office in the secured hospital laboratory. We immediately began an investigation and determined that the thumb drive was last used in the lab on June 6. Our investigation also determined that the thumb drive contained limited lab testing information, including patient names, laboratory testing codes, and slide identification numbers. The thumb drive did not include any social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth or any other clinical or financial information. Patient medical records were not included, and this incident will not affect patient care. Despite our extensive investigation, to date, we have been unable to locate the thumb drive.
 
We have no reason to believe that the information on the thumb drive has been used in any way. However, out of an abundance of caution, we began sending letters to affected patients on August 7, 2015. If you believe you are affected and do not receive a letter by August 28, or if you have any questions or need additional information, please call 1-866-486-1727, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern Time.   
Lawrence General has extensive policies and procedures governing the security of patient health information, including the use of portable data storage devices, like thumb drives. In response to this incident, the hospital is reinforcing the staff training and education regarding the importance of handling patient health information securely. 

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