Em­ployee fired for ‘snoop­ing’ into pa­tient records

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - COMING UP - ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY

The Prince Al­bert Park­land Health Re­gion has fired an em­ployee for al­legedly “snoop­ing” into the med­i­cal records of her own fam­ily mem­bers.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port of the In­for­ma­tion and Pri­vacy Com­mis­sioner, the em­ployee im­prop­erly ac­cessed the pa­tient in­for­ma­tion of 14 peo­ple, in­clud­ing sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers. The health re­gion de­tected the breach on June 14 through an au­dit.

The em­ployee, who is not named in the re­port, had al­ready been dis­ci­plined for sim­i­lar be­hav­iour. In May, she al­legedly snooped on two pa­tients us­ing the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal In­for­ma­tion Pro­gram and was suspended for five days.

The In­for­ma­tion and Pri­vacy Com­mis­sioner, Ron­ald J. Kruzeniski, found that the health re­gion has ef­fec­tively con­tained the breach and has taken steps to pre­vent sim­i­lar is­sues. The “root cause,” he agreed, was the em­ployee’s be­hav­iour, and not any flaw in the health re­gion’s sys­tem.

“I agree with Park­land’s find­ing that the root cause was the em­ployee in­ten­tion­ally breach­ing pri­vacy,” he wrote.

How­ever, Kruzeniski noted that the health re­gion’s ini­tial ef­fort to no­tify the af­fected pa­tients missed “a cou­ple of key el­e­ments.” He rec­om­mended dis­clos­ing the em­ployee’s iden­tity and ter­mi­na­tion to them.

Kruzeniski found that the em­ployee’s choice to ac­cess the records with­out au­tho­riza­tion vi­o­lated pri­vacy law.

“Park­land re­ported that the em­ployee looked up records about her­self, fam­ily mem­bers, and friends out of cu­rios­ity,” he said.

The Health In­for­ma­tion Pro­tec­tion Act, the com­mis­sioner stressed, “does not au­tho­rize us­ing per­sonal health in­for­ma­tion to sat­isfy one’s cu­rios­ity.”

ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY/DAILY HER­ALD

The main of­fice of the Prince Al­bert Park­land Health re­gion on 6 Ave. West.

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