Doctor errs, shares records of TB patients
April 5, 2017
ST. JOHN’s, Nfld. – Eastern Health and Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine acknowledged a privacy breach earlier this year after a doctor emailed fellow researchers “tuberculosis-related health information” involving 122 patients.
CBC News reported that the physician – who was not named – shared the information with other researchers as a part of a grant application for a national research project.
“While we are confident that the information has not been misused, I apologize to all of the patients whose privacy was breached through this incident,” David Diamond, president and CEO of Eastern Health, said in a statement. The health authority has taken steps to notify all 122 patients of the breach.
“As an organization, we take our responsibility as a custodian of personal health information very seriously and it is a priority to make sure employees and physicians are aware of their obligation for protecting personal health information.”
Eastern Health says the doctor held a dual role with the health authority and the faculty of medicine at Memorial University.
Eastern Health said it has identified all the patients who have been affected by the privacy breach and began contacting them. It also said that the email, and the patient information contained in it, was deleted by all who received it.
Dr. Margaret Steele, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, expressed concern and said the university strives for the highest standard of ethical conduct in research.
“As an academic institution, we are committed to ensuring that proper procedures are taken when using research data,” she said.