Computers with patient test data stolen from Denver VA hospital

DENVER - Two bio-medical computers containing data from tests on about 239 VA patients have been stolen from a pulmonary lab at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Denver.

These are computers used to record data from pulmonary function tests for the patients and were in a locked pulmonary lab. VA spokesman Daniel Warvi said the computers went missing last week and have been reported stolen to Denver and Aurora police, the VA inspector general's office and the local VA police.

The computers were stored on portable carts kept inside a locked room in the hospital at 1055 Clermont St., Warvi said. After checking all areas of the hospital, officials are sure they were stolen and have begun a criminal investigation.

The small universe of patient data contained is due to the specific use of the computer for running tests on individual patients in their rooms or in exam rooms of the hospital. Warvi said the computers contain no other programs, like email or other applications.

The pulmonary application data is encrypted and the application itself is password protected.

Patients involved are being contacted by the VA and Warvi says the VA is connecting them with services for credit monitoring.

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