Patient privacy violated dozens of times at rural clinic
Eastern Health revealed Monday that the private health information of as many as 46 patients may have been breached at an unnamed rural clinic.
"One employee has been terminated as a result of the investigation while the other resigned," Eastern Health said in a statement.
The authority said that both of the employees had worked as clerks, but it did not say where they worked.
All of the patients have been identified, and Eastern Health has begun the process of informing them.
"On behalf of Eastern Health, I want to publicly apologize to all of the patients whose privacy has been breached," CEO Vickie Kaminski said in the statement.
"It is quite disheartening when these breaches occur. However, while we do continue to identify these serious breaches, it is my belief that the number of employees who inappropriately access patient records are in a minority."
Eastern Health disclosed in July a series of privacy violations that together had cost five employees their jobs, including a nurse who had looked at the records of her former partner, her boyfriend's ex-partner and her tenant.
After that disclosure, the authority said, "audits were conducted of a random sample of employees in the program where the offending employee worked. Those audits did not identify significant privacy breaches. There were however employees who either looked up their own records or that of a family member and appropriate disciplinary action resulted."
In the wake of Eastern Health's disclosure in July, the three other regional health boards revealed that they also had had similar breaches. In one case, at Western Health, a single employee had accessed the medical records of 1,043 different people.