SickKids notifies study participants of stolen laptop



    TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is
notifying patients that have participated in 10 different research studies
about a stolen laptop that contained their personal health information. The
laptop was stolen on January 4, 2007 from the car of a physician who was doing
data analysis.
    SickKids reported the incident to Ontario's Information and Privacy
Commissioner (IPC) and is working in full cooperation with the IPC in an
independent review of this incident.
    The laptop was password protected and it is not likely that the data
could be easily understood by someone who lacks clinical training. Patient
care is not affected by this incident since the stolen laptop contained
research data and not patient charts.
    The studies involved patients in the rheumatology, endocrinology,
infectious diseases and cardiac program. Many of the patients in the cardiac
studies were treated in the cardiac program at SickKids as children.
    Notification letters were sent to study participants who are active
patients. In certain circumstances, patients were notified in person at clinic
appointments.
    The hospital is committed to the protection of patient privacy and is
pleased to be working with the IPC on a review of applicable policies and
practices to ensure appropriate privacy and security safeguards are in place
and that they are clearly and consistently communicated to hospital staff.
    Public inquiries may be directed to the hospital's privacy office Monday
to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-813-7474, or by email to
privacy.office@sickkids.ca. Inquiries may also be directed to the IPC at
416-326-3333, or by email to commissioner@ipc.on.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Public Affairs Dept., Helen Simeon, (416)
813-5047; or Lisa Lipkin, (416) 813-6380

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