OHSU: USB drive with patient information stolen

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance


Updated: July 31, 2012, 7:52 PM


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For more information on the data theft, visit the OHSU Frequently Asked Questions page.

Oregon Health & Sciences University Hospital is sending letters to the families of 702 pediatric patients after a USB drive containing some patient information was stolen, the hospital said Tuesday.

The drive contains data — including names, dates of birth, phone numbers and addresses — for more than 14,000 patients. It also contains information on 200 OHSU employees including names, Social Security numbers and addresses. According to the hospital, most of the data is password-protected and stored in an uncommon file format that cannot be opened by software found on most personal computers.

The theft doesn’t affect all OHSU patients, just some premature pediatric patients who were screened for vision issues.

The drive was taken during the burglary of a hospital employee’s home on July 4 or 5, the hospital said. The employee had taken it home in a briefcase that was stolen with other items.

The drive was used to back up data from one OHSU computer system, according to the release, and is normally locked on campus after use.