(story and photo: KHQ.com)
Roughly 3200 veterans were notified by Spokane's VA Medical Center that their personal health information was potentially compromised.
Public Affairs Officer Bret Bowers said in a release on Tuesday that a laptop used to interface with a hematology analyzer went missing and a search for the laptop was unsuccessful.
"Although we cannot say for certain what information was stored on the missing laptop, we are taking the necessary precaution of alerting every Veteran that may have had a hematology sample processed on the analyzer," Bowers said. "We have determined that the information potentially at risk are full names, dates of birth, and social security numbers."
The VA says they have developed a new "media sanitation" policy to prevent something like this from happening in the future.
Every Veteran that may have had a hematology sample processed at the Mann-Grandstaff VA by the analyzer in question between the April 2013 and May 2016 timeframe will receive a letter of notification and, where appropriate, an offer of credit monitoring for one year at no charge by Experian. Veterans wishing to take advantage of the credit monitoring can use either Engagement Code: PC-746 (preferred) or PC-747 when calling Experian to enroll in credit monitoring. Experian originally provided the Engagement Code PC-747, but instead prefers PC-746 for Veterans. Veterans with questions for Experian can call 866-252-0121.
Veterans with questions about this incident may also write to:
Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center
ATTN: Privacy Officer
4815 North Assembly Street
Spokane, WA 99205-6197