Computer containing cancer patients' info stolen

MD Anderson: Computer was stolen from doctor's home

HOUSTON - A laptop containing thousands of a hospital's patients' personal information has been stolen.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center said the laptop was stolen from a doctor's home on April 30.

The hospital said there was data on about 30,000 patients on the computer. The information includes patient names, medical record numbers and treatment and/or research information.

About a third of those patients' financial information and/or Social Security numbers were on the computer, hospital officials said. The other two-thirds did not contain financial information.

Hospital officials said they sent out notices to affected patients on Thursday. The hospital has offered credit monitoring services for patients whose Social Security numbers were on the computer.

There is no reason to believe that the computer was stolen specifically for information about patients, hospital officials said. Other items were also stolen from the doctor's home, officials said.

The hospital is taking steps to protect information on computers in case of another theft. Officials said they have accelerated efforts to encrypt all of its computers to make it difficult for unauthorized users to get sensitive information.

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