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NYU Langone Medical Center's Hospital for Joint Diseases Notifies Patients of Potential Data Breach
No Financial Information, Social Security Numbers or Home Addresses Contained on Missing USB Drive
New York, NY (July 1, 2010)— NYU Langone Medical Center's Hospital for Joint Diseases notified patients today that an unencrypted portable USB drive used to store patient information in one of its recovery rooms was lost between May 7, 2010, when the drive was last used, and May12, 2010 when it was discovered to be missing. No financial information, social security numbers, or home addresses were on the drive and therefore are not at risk. Additionally, at this time there is no indication that patient information stored on the missing drive has been adversely used or disclosed.
The USB drive contained recovery room clinical information on approximately 2,500 patients including patient name, medical record number, age, sex, procedure, attending physician, anesthesiologist, type of anesthesia, time of arrival in the recovery room, and time of discharge from the recovery room.
Once discovered, the loss was immediately reported to the NYU Langone Medical Center Office of Security and an active investigation is underway to find the missing USB drive. Letters were sent to all patients whose data may be included on the drive. NYU Langone Medical Center's Hospital for Joint Diseases has established a dedicated phone line for patients in the hospital’s Office of Compliance at 1-877-698-2333, Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
NYU Langone Medical Center has strict policies in place to safeguard patient data, including technical and operational controls for USB drives (including encryption) which will render the USB drive unreadable to unauthorized parties. In response to this event, Medical Center faculty and staff will continue to receive periodic mandatory security training and security reminders regarding the proper safeguarding of private patient information.
About NYU Langone Medical Center:
NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the nation's premier centers of excellence in healthcare, biomedical research, and medical education. For over 170 years, NYU physicians and researchers have made countless contributions to the practice and science of health care. Today the Medical Center consists of NYU School of Medicine, including the Smilow Research Center, the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences; and the NYU Hospitals Center, including Tisch Hospital, a 705-bed acute-care general hospital, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, the first and largest facility of its kind, and NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, a leader in musculoskeletal care, a Clinical Cancer Center and numerous ambulatory sites.