It didn’t take long for another case of breach of privacy to show up at a health board in this province. Wednesday, Western Health issued a statement saying a staff member had been fired for accessing unnecessarily more than 1,000 patient files they had no reason to look at.
Other than that, we don’t know much ... except the administration is so very sorry about it happening.
That won’t be much comfort to the patients involved who will soon be notified.
It was also revealed that the breach was discovered after a complaint was received in May.
That could mean the problem — despite ongoing audits — might never have been discovered through the security processes now in place at west coast hospitals and clinics.
This is just not good enough. Patients put their trust in the staff at health institutions and don’t expect anyone with a computer terminal can dabble in their personal affairs and medical details.
Western Health says it is bringing in a new computer system with stronger monitoring software and it’s about time. Let’s hope it works better than the present system.
It would make one wonder why it hasn’t been done before this?
Another decision that should be reconsidered is the choice not to bring charges against the person fired.
This isn’t a minor case of a worker getting caught ordering clothes online or playing video games while on the company clock.
Anyone who dips into patient files without reason after going through training and likely signing a confidentiality form should have to pay with more than their paycheque.
Facing a judge may not do much good in this case but it would put others on warning that this kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated.
Patients would be thankful for that.