Home care records breach disclosed in Manitoba
May 19, 2021
WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority announced that in March 2021, a bag belonging to a Home Care employee of the WRHA was stolen from her vehicle. The bag contained information pertaining to the employee’s daily schedule of activities, including personal health information for her clients.
The employee was in the process of returning the sheets to her office for secure shredding, as per WRHA policy, when she left the bag unattended for a moment to return into her home and retrieve something she’d forgotten. In that moment, her bag was stolen. To date, the bag and its contents remain unaccounted for.
The forms that were in the bag may have contained such information as name, date of birth, telephone number, address, as well as information about health services that are being provided to these clients.
Based on the dates that the employee reports having had kept her task sheets, WRHA determined that the information of 58 clients has been affected. The organization has been advising the affected individuals directly, providing information about the breach and advice for preventing fraud and identity theft.
The home care program does not maintain any financial information for clients. All affected individuals will receive a letter in the mail. Unaffected individuals will not receive any communication.
The WRHA takes client privacy and our role in safeguarding personal health information very seriously. It has training, policies, rules and supports in place for all health professionals delivering services within the WRHA that are meant to prevent a breach such as this.
The WRHA has apologized for the breach in its communication with clients, and it is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether protocols were followed in this case, and to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent any future breaches of this nature.