Once Again, Thieves Make Off With Providence Data

Once Again, Thieves Make Off With Providence Data
PORTLAND - Providence Health System says data thieves have struck again.

The health-care company says in late February and early March burglars stole laptops out of cars that nurses were using. The computers had the records of 122 hospice and home-care patients in Snohomish County.

The latest thefts are much smaller than the one disclosed in January that affected 365,000 patients.

But Providence officials say they're frustrated. Despite training, the employees weren't following a rule that says they must keep computers in sight at all times. Instead, they left computers in their cars, once to visit a patient, another time to run into a store.

Providence says it's begun encrypting the daily records that nurses keep.

And it says it will provide free identity and credit assistance to every affected patient.