Local News

Fayetteville Police Look For Laptop Containing Patients' Info

Posted June 21, 2006

— More than 24,000 EMS patients in Cumberland County will soon be getting a letter in the mail after a laptop disappeared from an EMS vehicle.

Officials said the computer was stolen from an unlocked ambulance while the crew was at lunch on June 9. It contains the medical information of all the people treated by Cumberland County EMS since August, 2005.

Officials are hoping a built-in safeguard will protect the sensitive information.

"There was both a system password and an individual password that would have been necessary to gain access to information," said Clinton Weaver with the Cape Fear Valley Health System. "Otherwise, they would have to physically remove the hard drive and install it on another computer."

Cape Fear Valley Health System operates the ambulance. They said the two person crew was disciplined, but wouldn't elaborate as to how. They're asking patients to closely monitor their bank and credit card accounts.

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