Filched laptop stored 2,000 Washington area student health records

Education // Healthcare and Public Health // Virginia, United States

A computer containing health records for 2,000 Fairfax County public school students was taken, when someone broke into a school nurse’s car.

Student names, their school system identification numbers and specific medical conditions, including allergies, were listed in the records.

The theft occurred on 7/15/13. The Virginia school system mailed letters and sent e-mails to notify the families of affected students on 7/29/13.

The laptop contained files for current and former Fairfax students at six schools, including elementary, middle and high schools.

“The school nurse was allowed to have the records in her car and at home, health officials said, but they noted that the nurse had violated protocol by failing to store the files securely.”

The electronic files should not have been saved on the computer’s hard drive, officials said. “Files with personally identifiable information are supposed to be stored on encrypted portable drives. The employee, who was not publicly identified, likely will face disciplinary action, health officials said.”