CTV personalities among victims of medical breach
Published Thursday, December 6, 2012 1:12PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, December 6, 2012 11:06PM PST
A female Vancouver Coastal Health employee has been fired after accessing the confidential electronic records of five local media personalities – including three from CTV News.
Anchors Tamara Taggart and Coleen Christie and health expert Dr. Rhonda Low were among the victims contacted Thursday and informed that a nursing aide had improperly viewed their patient records.
The health authority said the breach was discovered several days ago during a regular monthly audit, and that there’s no evidence the information was passed on to anyone else.
“All indications are that this person did it out of quote-unquote ‘curiosity,’ so there’s no reason to believe it was anything other than that,” spokesman Clay Adams said.
The news was still unsettling to Christie, who, despite spending much of her life in the public eye, has always been very careful to protect her personal privacy.
“I have nothing to hide, but my private life is my private life,” she said. “I’m not really concerned about myself, what if this person had malicious intent? It could be potentially disastrous.”
Vancouver Coastal Health is continuing to investigate the breach, and said it is reviewing organizational practices and processes to prevent a similar situation in the future.
The health authority also said the employee apologized and appeared very remorseful when questioned about the incident.
President David Ostrow issued a statement saying it is “extremely disappointing” that the aide violated her confidentiality agreement.
“It also violates the trust people place in us, and we apologize not only to those directly impacted by this but to all our patients, clients and residents,” Ostrow said.
The breach was detected because each of the media personalities affected opted for an extra layer of security on their files, Adams said.
The same additional protection is available to any patient who requests it.
B.C.’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has also been notified.
The names of the other media personalities affected by the breach have not been released.
This isn’t the first time Vancouver Coastal Health has had an issue with protecting sensitive personal information.
In 2011, a student doctor lost a laptop in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport that contained the medical files of 450 patients.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jina You