Giant UHN prob­ing health record er­rors

Waterloo Region Record - - LOCAL - Shawn Jeffords The Cana­dian Press

TORONTO — A clin­i­cal team will in­ves­ti­gate whether the care of any pa­tient at On­tario’s largest hospi­tal net­work was im­pacted by er­rors re­ported in its elec­tronic med­i­cal records, says a spokesper­son.

Gil­lian Howard said that while the Univer­sity Health Net­work is con­duct­ing a re­view of five mil­lion elec­tronic health records gath­ered over the past five years, a clin­i­cal team will also re­view the files of pa­tients di­rectly im­pacted by the pri­vacy breach to en­sure their care was not com­pro­mised.

“I wouldn’t want peo­ple to be un­nec­es­sar­ily con­cerned,” she said.

“We are deal­ing with this, we’ve cleaned our in-house data and are go­ing to be work­ing through all of the places out­side. The as­sur­ance that peo­ple should have is that their own (fam­ily doc­tor) would be look­ing at any of th­ese things and would likely pick up any­thing that’s an er­ror. The in­ci­dence is very small com­pared to the num­ber of records.”

The net­work, which con­sists of Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal, Toronto Gen­eral Hospi­tal, Toronto Western Hospi­tal and a num­ber of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion sites, said it has also tem­po­rar­ily dis­con­nected its pa­tient record sys­tem from On­tario’s elec­tronic health records data­base while it investigates the er­rors.

Howard could not im­me­di­ately say how long the re­view would take or when it would be re­con­nected to the broader sys­tem.

The prob­lem came to light when a pa­tient found re­sults in his file for tests he had not taken. The hospi­tal net­work says er­rors have been found in four pa­tient records where the “iden­ti­fi­able” in­for­ma­tion of an in­di­vid­ual pa­tient went in some­one else’s file.

“A pa­tient no­ticed some­thing in his file ... that couldn’t have been his record,” Howard said. “He phoned us and that started the process of check­ing all th­ese things.”

Howard said the er­rors were iso­lated to the net­work’s data­base and were not part of On­tario’s elec­tronic health records data­base.

The hospi­tal net­work be­lieves it knows what caused the er­rors but wants to in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther be­fore re­leas­ing the in­for­ma­tion, she added.

“We ab­so­lutely will get to the bot­tom of it,” she said.

The pri­vacy breach has been re­ported to On­tario’s In­for­ma­tion and Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion.

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