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NORFOLK-- Some Sentara Healthcare patients are being notified that a device containing some of their information was stolen in November from a contractor's employee's locked car in California.

The contractor, Omnicell Inc., said Monday company officials had no reason to believe the information had been accessed or used improperly, but they were notifying patients 'out of an abundance of caution.'

The breach affects nearly 56,000 patients treated between Oct. 18 and Nov. 9 at seven Sentara hospitals and three outpatient care centers in Hampton Roads, the company said.

The stolen device may have contained clinical and demographic data, such as patient birth dates and information about medication usage during hospital stays. However, it didn't include patient social security numbers, financial or bank account information or insurance information, according to Omnicell.

The company started sending letters to affected patients on Monday.

Patients who believe they were affected but don't receive a letter by Jan. 21 can call 1-855-755-8482 and enter reference code 6236121712.

Omnicell is based in Mountain View, Calif. and provides automated medication dispensing services for Sentara.

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