Two Victoria health employees have been fired and are under investigation for the biggest privacy breach in the history of Island Health.
According to Kellie Hudson, an Island Health spokesperson, the two employees, described as non-clinical support staff, accessed the electronic health records of 198 individuals from Vancouver Island, and beyond.
The investigation began after a routine audit was run of employee access to the Electronic Health Record.
While privacy legislation prevents Island Health from discussing the specifics of personnel matters, Hudson confirmed the two individuals no longer work for Island Health.
“It is unacceptable that any employee uses his or her access privileges to view patients’ records,” she said. “Such actions are contradictory to our organizational values and policies.”
Island Health is in the process of notifying those impacted by the breach, though it didn’t provide specifics.
A “breach” is considered when patient info is accessed by an unauthorized source, compromising the person’s privacy. This includes unauthorized reading of a patient’s chart and accessing information on yourself, children, family, friends or co-workers.
Island Health maintains that its staff is “well-oriented” to the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive information and the consequences of violating policy.
“Unauthorized access to patient files is a breach of our code of conduct, is a violation of privacy and will not be tolerated,” Hudson said. “We are assessing our practices now to mitigate any future violations.”