B.C.’s privacy watchdog says the province’s health authorities need to do a better job protecting your private information.
In a new report Wednesday, Elizabeth Denham says a review of all health regions showed a number of privacy gaps.
One of the biggest problems is workers looking at information they shouldn’t be: “Staff snooping in the files of colleagues, of neighbours, of VIPs that are in the hospital. And that’s a very serious breach of trust.”
She says staff are also posting intimate pictures of patients on social media.
Denham says one of the main impediments to protecting privacy is a lack of support from senior management.
She’s meeting with each region to look at what they need to do to improve, with a year to shape up.
VCH says breaches happen
Staff at Vancouver Coast Health, which was included in Denham’s report, says they take breaches very seriously.
Spokesperson Anna Maria D’Angelo says patients’ personal information has certainly been mishandled — sometimes accidentally.
“Such as somebody mailing something to the wrong address or faxing something to the wrong address, or a staff member having patient information on a laptop and that laptop gets misplaced.”
But D’Angelo says sometimes breeches are deliberate.
Whether someone is terminated depends on their intention.
She says they do conduct regular audits, but not across the region or across departments.