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

VIDEO: Trinity Western women’s soccer team earns win over UNBC

Spartans held an advantage throughout the night

Langley Rams run over Rebels

Maximilian Joseph ran for 226 yards and scored three touchdowns

New Langley mayor’s gala raises half million for hospital

A $500,000 contribution to the new emergency ward and MRI suite was announced Saturday night.

LETTER: All election candidates in Langley deserve invite to meeting

Brian Cameron is critical of a by-invitation-only all-candidates event with select hopefuls invited.

Langley seniors facilities get funds for new equipment

An inter-agency committee allocates funds for sites with publicly funded seniors spaces.

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Fraser Health to buy two private MRI clinics in Surrey, Abbotsford

New clinics will provide 2,000 more MRIs by fiscal year-end

Campaign seeks to add Farsi to B.C. school curriculum options

Group wants Farsi added to list of nine languages in policy covering second language requirements

Trudeau urges leaders to follow Nelson Mandela’s example at UN tribute

Peace summit in New York marks 100th birthday of former South African president

Senate seats filled in B.C., Saskatchewan

Canada’s newest senators are the first woman to lead the RCMP and a Cree Metis businessman

Newfoundland’s popular ‘merb’ys’ calendar is back

The calendar of burly, bearded mermen posing against scenic backdrops for charity returns

Less than half of Metro Vancouverites feel they can influence government: study

SFU researchers suggest most people believe elected officials don’t care

Cap rent increases at inflation rate, B.C. task force recommends

MLAs say drop annual increase that would allow 4.5% rise next year

School, church, old mining site make Heritage BC’s first ‘watch list’

The list includes sites in need of protection to maintain B.C.’s culture and history

Most Read