Statement regarding privacy breach at Health PEI
Health PEI’s acting Chief Executive Officer Denise Lewis Fleming is confirming a breach of patient records at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Unfortunately, there has been an incident involving a former employee of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital who inappropriately viewed the personal health information of 353 patients. This individual broke the rules, violating the privacy and confidentiality of Islanders who entrust our health care system and our staff to safeguard their personal health information. That is unacceptable.
Ensuring the safety, privacy, and confidentiality of our patients is of utmost importance to us. We are incredibly disappointed that this unfortunate incident took place, and we sincerely apologize to everyone whose personal health information was inappropriately viewed. We do not have any reason to believe that patients’ personal health information has been further disclosed or misused, but we are continuing to investigate.”
Health PEI is contacting all individuals whose personal health information was inappropriately accessed, and will be available to discuss the details of these breaches of confidentiality with them.
“Our organization takes confidentiality seriously. When we become aware of a potential breach, we respond swiftly, investigate thoroughly, and take appropriate action to safeguard personal information. We are working with all of our staff to ensure that they understand their duty to maintain the integrity of our patients’ right to privacy and confidentiality – that includes appropriate access of personal health information,” added Lewis Fleming.
Health PEI has a number of policies in place addressing confidentiality, code of conduct, and patient rights and responsibilities. All staff are provided with information and education on these policies when they first begin their employment with the health care system, as well as throughout their employment. All staff are also required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the time of hiring.