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Breach of health records at P.E.I. hospital remains under investigation

QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL
FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth Hospital. ©THE GUARDIAN

Privacy commissioner still digging

P.E.I. Privacy Commissioner Karen Rose is still investigating the file on a former Charlottetown hospital employee fired in October for inappropriate viewing of hundreds of patients’ personal health records.

Rose will issue a report at the end of her review.

A nurse manager of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital detected a breach in October. An investigation ensued which determined a long-term employee had viewed the personal electronic files of 353 patients over the last three years.

The person was fired.

RELATED: Action taken following major breach of personal health records at QEH

Health P.E.I. acting chief executive officer Denise Lewis Fleming said at the time that there was no clinical requirement for the former employee to access the personal health records.

“This individual broke the rules, violating the privacy and confidentiality of Islanders who entrust our health-care system and our staff to safeguard their personal health information,’’ Lewis Fleming said.

“This is unacceptable.’’

All 353 patients were informed by mail that their personal health information was inappropriately accessed.

Health P.E.I. also worked with staff after the breach was detected to ensure that they understand their duty to maintain the integrity of patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality that includes appropriate access of personal health information.

Charlottetown Police Deputy Chief Brad MacConnell says police investigated the incident and found no grounds for criminal charges.

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