Stolen Computer Prompts Warning From Oklahoma State Health Department


Tuesday, April 12th 2011, 2:15 pm
By: News On 6


NewsOn6.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health has issued a warning after a laptop computer was stolen from an employee's car last week.

According to a news release, the department is notifying nearly 133,000 individuals that their names and some personal information may have been on that computer.

The computer contained a database related to the Oklahoma Birth Defects Registry.

The Oklahoma Birth Defects Registry provides statewide surveillance of birth defects to reduce the prevalence of birth defects through prevention education, monitoring trends and analyzing data.

The thief also took 50 paper files containing medical information.

"We are mindful that Oklahoma's citizens trust the OSDH to do all it can to protect the personal data we acquire as part of our disease prevention services," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. "We offer our apologies to those who may be affected."

The health department has sent letters to the people affected and posted information on its web site about the theft and potential data loss.

The OSDH says it's cautioning those whose data might be compromised to contact credit reporting agencies and take other steps to protect their personal information.

"We are reviewing our administrative policies to strengthen safeguards to better protect the confidentiality of the data we collect. We recognize our obligation to make any changes that will ensure a similar incident cannot happen again," Dr. Terry Cline said.

If you have questions, call 1-866-278-7134 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or email the OSDH at contactosdh@health.ok.gov or visit www.health.ok.gov for more information.

The department says it's working closely with the Yukon Police Department in its investigation.