Binder of sensitive patient info goes missing from B.C. hospital

Information breach at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital as binder with patient data goes missing

  • Apr. 3, 2018 12:10 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

John Ranta isn’t happy about a privacy breach at Royal Inland Hospital.

The mayor of Cache Creek and former chair of the Thompson-Nicola Hospital District board said he was given a copy of a letter sent to one of the people in his community from RIH, advising that a binder with patient information went missing from the hospital.

The binder included names, addresses, phone numbers, ages, dates of birth, personal health-care numbers, family physicians, medication histories and information from colon scans.

The letter from Deana Rismondo, manager of the ambulatory care unit at the hospital, said since the records have not been found, “it is difficult to fully assess the level of risk to you.”

The letter recommends those affected contact credit-monitoring agencies Equifax Canada or TransUnion to have flags placed on their files. The missing binder has been reported to the province’s information privacy office and the letter said IH has taken action “to determine the cause of the privacy breach and educate users to mitigate the risk of future incidents.”

However, Ranta said, IH is not paying the $5.25 charge Equifax requires for such an alert — and he’s not happy about that.

Ranta said each letter was sent by registered mail at a cost of $9.84. Had they been sent through the regular mail, he said, IH could have covered the cost of all credit monitoring alerts and saved $4.59 per letter sent.

He said he raised the concern at a meeting last Thursday, asking IH CEO Chris Mazurkewich for details. Mazurkewich said he would look into it and get back to Ranta, something that had not happened as of Tuesday. But, Ranta noted, the intervening days were part of what for many people was a four-day Easter holiday weekend.

Ranta took particular aim at the concluding paragraph of the letter, one that includes an apology for the “unfortunate event.” but assures RIH has taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“Well, that’s like having a herd of cattle with all your personal info out in the field and someone opens the gate. The cattle are gone,” he said. “They’re out there somewhere.”

Last June, Mounties in the Lower Mainland contacted IH after arresting two people who had possession of information on a number of people, about 500 of whom worked for the health authority.

The information pertained to employee records of current and past staff. IH contacted all employees affected and offered to pay for credit-monitoring services for one year.

In 2014, a filing cabinet at RIH went missing. It contained names, birthdates, personal health-card numbers and medical-testing information of 1,628 patients. At that time, IH offered to cover the cost of credit monitoring alerts.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Chilliwack Centre of Excellence paddlers make national teams

The CCE athletes battled through four heats at Canadian team trials in Oklahoma.

OPINION: When observation affects what is observed

I’m aware that covering criminal court proceedings can impact lives and sometimes the proceedings too

Crown seeking 30 months for Abbotsford vehicle theft, flight from police, Chilliwack crash

Michael Joseph Hasell has 47 criminal convictions on his record in B.C. and Alberta

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Rainfall warning: Up to 70 mm expected across Fraser Valley

Environment Canada issued a weather warning heading into the long weekend

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Langley MP describes most recent diagnosis as a ‘miracle’

Tory Member of Parliament Mark Warawa doesn’t have pancreatic cancer, but operable colon cancer

Man driving wrong way on Highway 17 ‘seriously’ injured after crash: Surrey RCMP

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Most Read