Privacy & Security
Patient finds someone else’s results in his record
October 18, 2017
TORONTO – The University Health Network, Ontario’s largest hospital group, says it is reviewing five million electronic health records gathered over the past five years after a patient reported errors in his medical file.
The University Health Network says that it has also temporarily disconnected its patient record system from Ontario’s electronic health records database while it investigates the error.
The network, which consists of Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, could not immediately say how long the review would take or when it would be reconnected to the broader system.
The problem – first reported by CTV News – came to light when a patient found results in his file for tests he had not taken. The hospital network says errors have been found in four patient records where the “identifiable” information of an individual patient went in someone else’s file.
“A patient who had access to his own health record through myUHN (our patient portal which allows patients to see their records in real time) let us know that there was a document in their file which was not part of their care,” UHN spokesperson Gillian Howard said. “As soon as we were made aware, we began an investigation of the data.”
Howard said the errors were isolated to the network’s database and were not part of Ontario’s electronic health records database. The hospital network believes it knows what caused the errors but wants to investigate further before releasing the information, she added.
“We absolutely will get to the bottom of it,” she said.
Laura Gallant, spokeswoman for Health Minister Eric Hoskins, said the government has been in contact with the hospital network and confirmed the errors were limited to its system.
“We have not been made aware of any other hospitals encountering anything similar,” she said in a statement.