Canadian Security Magazine

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Private records firing in B.C.

Vancouver Island's health authority has fired two employees it says peaked at patients' private health files to satisfy their personal curiosity.

Island Health says it investigated after receiving allegations in early October that staff members were inappropriately accessing personal information.

The authority concluded 112 individuals’ records were observed, even though the employees were not authorized, and it has since notified and apologized to the affected people.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary Lyn Fyfe says the breach was a total violation of the confidentiality acknowledgment signed by all employees, as well as a violation of the public’s trust.

During the investigation, the accused employees had their access to private electronic health records immediately revoked, and the B.C. privacy commissioner was notified.


Island Health’s terms of employment state that individuals who intentionally access confidential information without access may be subject to penalty or sanction, including termination of employment.

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