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Nurse suspended for improper use of records

VIHAVICTORIA – A former nurse at the Vancouver Island Health Authority has been suspended for 30 days by the College of Registered Nurses of B.C. over breach of privacy after she improperly accessed medical records of 74 people.

A notification on the college’s website says Jennifer Goodman agreed to a 30-day suspension and will engage in a consultation process on regulatory practices.

The post says Goodman expressed remorse and voluntarily completed remedial education during the investigation, and voluntarily informed her new employer of the investigation.

The inquiry committee expressed satisfaction the public has been well protected.

According to the college, Goodman accessed medical records of 74 people not under her care while working for Island Health in 2013 and 2014. She lost her job as a result.

Goodman explained that in many cases the access was only to get test results for herself and family, to learn birthdays and ages of co-workers or to find out the hospital location of patients she wished to visit, the college said.

In a statement, the health authority said employees are allowed access to patients’ medical files only when necessary to provide service and medical care.

Every new employee, volunteer and contractor is required to sign a confidentiality agreement, Island Health said. They must also complete the health authority’s confidential information management program and take an annual refresher.

“Our employees are fully aware of what constitutes legitimate access to patient information,” the statement said.

“When a privacy breach occurs, we conduct a thorough investigation, which includes steps to remediate risk and prevent the situation from reoccurring including termination of an employee.”

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