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Nfld nurse fined $1,000 for snooping

Colleen WeeksST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A former Eastern Health nurse who illegally accessed patient records has been fined $1,000. Colleen Stamp (pictured), formerly known as Colleen Weeks, was fired from the province’s largest health authority in 2012 after an audit revealed she was one of 11 employees accused of illegally accessing patient records.

In September, she was found guilty of accessing personal records 18 times over a 12-month period. Stamp, who was a triage nurse at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, was originally charged with 122 counts of privacy breach, but 105 of those charges were thrown out for falling outside time limitations.

She told CBC News in 2012 it was a frequent occurrence for health authority staff to look at patient files without authorization. Stamp, 40, was found guilty on one count of breaching the province’s Personal Health Information Act (PHIA).

This is the second conviction under the provincial act after Donna Colbourne was fined $5,000 last month for inappropriately accessing personal health information at Western Health.

Privacy Commissioner Ed Ring was satisfied with the fine given to Stamp, saying it sends an important message to health professionals who might misuse their access to patient’s personal health information.

“When patients receive treatment in the healthcare system, they expect their information to be handled appropriately and professionally,” Ring said in a statement.

The privacy breach was discovered through an audit at Eastern Health.

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