The William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia is notifying more than 7,000 veterans that their personal information may have been compromised when a laptop was reported missing two months ago, according to a news release received Monday by The State.
Medical Center police and the office of the inspector general are treating the event as an ongoing criminal investigation, the release said.
“Any time a Veteran’s personal information may be compromised, we take the matter very seriously,” medical center director Rebecca Wiley said in the release. “We are reaching out to each veteran who may have been impacted.”
Efforts to reach Dorn officials for further comment were unsuccessful.
According to the release: The laptop was discovered missing from a locked testing lab in the respiratory therapy department on Feb. 11. It was used in pulmonary function testing.
The laptop contained personally identifiable information on its hard drive on all patients receiving pulmonary function tests on that specific machine from 2006 to the present. The data included name, last four digits of the Social Security number, age and in some cases birthdates, weight, race and test results.
However, officials said in the statement, there was no indication the information has been misused. The laptop has notbeen recovered.
As a precaution, the medical center is sending letters to each identified veteran who received testing on that specific pulmonary function machine, notifying them and offering them one year of free credit monitoring services.