Sunday, June 3, 2012

Patient Privacy Breach Audit Catches Healthcare Worker Improperly Peeking at Patient Records

43 people had their privacy breached by a government health worker who was caught improperly viewing patient records. The employee had access to health insurance information such as client names, addresses, birthdates, health information and social insurance numbers.

The company has not disclosed how long the employee had been 'snooping' on patient records and claimed "the risk is really low level because it looks like he or she was accessing the information out of curiosity but not for any fraudulent activity.
"I would like to know - is this an isolated incident? Has it happened in the past?"
- NDP health critic Mike Farnworth
The employee worked for a firm that has a contract with the government to run its Victoria-based Health Insurance B.C. office. The company said they discovered the breach as part of a patient privacy breach audit. The employee was suspended immediately and then fired after an investigation was completed.

Vincent Gogolek, executive director of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Association, said future data privacy breaches would be a bigger risk when the government its eHealth electronic records initiative and Integrated Case Management system, in which vast amounts of personal information will be stored within a single computer system.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach audits. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) 43 hit by privacy breach, Maximus worker fired - Times Colonist, June 2, 2012

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