Cedars-Sinai officials warned patients of possible data breach after a hospital-issued laptop computer was stolen.
Officials said in a press release that there was no indication that the laptop contained complete medical or billing records of any patient, but officials were alerting patients as a precaution.
"Cedars-Sinai takes the security of our patients' health information very seriously, and has multiple security safeguards in place to protect health information," said David Blake, Cedars-Sinai's chief privacy officer. "Even a potential data security incident on a single computer, as has occurred here, is not acceptable to us. We apologize to the people affected by this incident, and have taken actions to prevent any re-occurrence."
The laptop, which was used by the employee for troubleshooting software used for clinical laboratory reporting, was stolen along with personal items of the employee in a June 23 burglary at the employee's home.
The employee's duties included being available outside of normal business hours to troubleshoot software problems as they occurred, which is why the laptop was at the home.
The employee immediately notified Cedars-Sinai and the local police of the theft. The local police investigation is ongoing, no arrests have been made, and the laptop has not been recovered.