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UMMC Administration notifies patients of breach of protected health and personal information

Published on Thursday, March 21, 2013

By: Jack Mazurak at 601-984-1970 or

Published in Press Releases on March 21, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. – A laptop computer missing from a University of Mississippi Medical Center clinical area has prompted UMMC officials to issue notice of a breach of patient health and personal information.

Federal and state laws require health-care institutions to notify patients potentially affected by such incidents. In this case, due to insufficient contact information for those who may be affected, individual notifications are not possible.

On Jan. 22, UMMC officials were notified that a password-protected laptop was missing. The laptop was a shared device, used by UMMC clinicians working in a non-public, patient-care area.

The laptop may have contained health and personal information of adult patients seen at UMMC between 2008 and January 2013. The information potentially included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, diagnoses, medications, treatments and other clinical information.

“We take the privacy and security of our patients very seriously and Medical Center staff responded quickly to this incident to protect our patients’ personal and protected health information,” said Dr. James Keeton, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs.

“We believe it is unlikely the information on this computer has actually been viewed, accessed, used or disclosed. However, this incident is troubling and we are doing all we can to remedy the situation and prevent incidents like this in the future.”

On learning the laptop was missing, UMMC officials took action to secure the information. Despite efforts to locate the laptop, it has not yet been recovered.

UMMC has received no notifications from current or former patients regarding any unauthorized use of protected health or personal information pertaining to this breach.

Individuals who believe they may be affected or have general questions about this occurrence can contact UMMC by one or more of the methods below. UMMC Office of Integrity and Compliance representatives will do all they can to assist concerned individuals in working through this process.

•    Call: 1-855-241-2575, select option 6
•    Email; or
•    Write to:  University of Mississippi Medical Center
                      Attn: Office of Integrity and Compliance
                      2500 N State Street
                      Jackson, MS 39216