Community Medical Centers
Community Medical Centers complements encryption with Absolute
With three major hospitals and several health care facilities, Community Medical Centers (Community) is the largest and most comprehensive hospital system in the San Joaquin Valley. Affiliated with the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) medical school, the hospital network has taken a leading-edge approach to both research and technology.
As laptops became more prevalent, hospital staff found that theft was also on the rise. “When everything was done on larger, desktop PCs, computer theft was very rare,” says Alison Wells Community’s Manager of Client Services. “As we began increasing the number of laptops across our organization, we saw a corresponding rise in laptop theft. I was attending a Microsoft training course where a colleague suggested that we investigate Absolute. The more we learned about the product, it became obvious that Absolute could significantly benefit our endpoint security strategy.”
Having experienced some laptop thefts, Community sought the help of Absolute. This proved to be a good decision when two laptops were stolen from a locked hospital office. When two laptops monitored by Absolute were taken from a locked Community office, Community’s security staff, Wells and her team reported the theft to the police and then alerted the Absolute Investigations team.
Two days later, one of the stolen computers called home to the Absolute Monitoring Center and was instructed to call with its location information every 15 minutes until it was recovered. Information provided by Absolute’s Investigations team led the police to the home of the thieves where the laptop was recovered.
As a healthcare provider, Community takes a very proactive approach to protecting the health information of patients and employees. In compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and California Senate Bill 1398, the hospital system encrypts protected health information on laptop computers, “We take many steps to protect our patient’s personal and health information, including stringent policies on storing protected information on mobile computers. With our protected information encrypted, and now the ability to physically recover devices or remotely delete information from those lost or stolen, we feel we are doing everything possible to ensure data security.”