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

Province now allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no hard deadline for campers to leave, park open to public

Victorians for Tranportation Choice survey Greater Victoria election candidates

Mayoral and council candidates from across Greater Victoria face 12 questions

Dementia Helpline seeks volunteers after dramatic increase in calls

First Link Dementia Helpline for those who lives with dementia or care partners

Saanich offers land for housing for the homeless

Unclear many units of supportive housing the province will build in Saanich

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read