Continued from page 1

“We regret this incident and we have already put in new procedures to prevent similar violations in the future,” Larry Warren, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said in announcing the episode.

The data contained on the laptop included Social Security numbers, medical record numbers, discharge dates and diagnosis-related information.

Officials said in a statement that the diagnosis information consisted of medical codes, while “only a minority of cases did the information include written descriptions of a patient’s medical procedures or condition.”

The laptop was password protected, and officials said there was no reason to believe that the thief targeted the laptop or knew what sort of information it contained.

Howard officials also said they reported the laptop theft to all three credit reporting agencies as well as the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.