Little River Healthcare discovered May 12 that a briefcase containing 18 paper charts and a laptop with patient electronic medical records, was stolen from a provider's locked vehicle.

Among the information stolen was: patient names, dates of birth, dates of service, and medical history. The records did not include social security numbers, driver's license numbers or patient home addresses.

Patients affected by the security breach are being notified. Little River Healthcare said in a press release they have no reason to believe that patient information has been compromised or accessed by the thieves, but the company is taking steps to eliminate or minimize any potential harm that could be caused by the theft nonetheless.

The stolen laptop was password protected and Little River Healthcare's IT department verified that it has not been turned on. It is believed that the computer has been wiped clean by the thieves with intent of reselling it.

Little River Healthcare has offered its resources to affected patients and has encouraged patients to contact their financial institutions and credit agencies to prevent unauthorized access to personal accounts. The company making steps towards improving the security of its operations and eliminating future risk. Providers are strengthening their training regarding the transfer and storage of patient records, the level of security on its mobile devices, and existing mobile device policies and procedures, according to the press release.

“Little River Healthcare understands the importance of protecting patient data, and takes this responsibility very seriously,” said Ryan Downton, Chief Legal Officer. “We will do all we can to work with our patients whose personal information may have been compromised, to help them through the process. We regret that this incident has occurred, and we are committed to doing all that is within our ability to prevent any future occurrences.”

For more information, visit Little River Healthcare's website, or contact either of the following staff members:

Kylie Shcherbakov, Staff Attorney - (512)481-7070 Ext. 7183,

Cheryl Hites, Privacy Officer - (254)605-1335,