Stolen medical files dumped in street
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 7:57a.m.
By 3 News online staff
An investigation is underway after more than 100 patients' confidential medical records were found on a Christchurch street.
The documents - including elderly patients' contact details, information on their medical doses, prescriptions, and notes on how to access some properties - were stolen when a Healthcare New Zealand staff member's private car was broken into.
A member of the public found them on a suburban street and handed them to media.
Canterbury District Health Board contracts Healthcare New Zealand to carry out home visits.
Healthcare New Zealand general manger of community services Scott Arrol said the company is investigating the incident to see whether document security policies were followed.
In a statement today Healthcare New Zealand says they are deeply concerned, although they do not believe the information has been compromised.
The company says the documents have now been returned and almost all of the clients whose information was in them have been contacted.
The health board's general manager of planning and funding, Carolyn Gullery, told Radio New Zealand no protocols were breached by the worker whose car was burgled - aside from a delay in reporting that the information was missing.
She said it was normal for workers to take the information they needed to interact with clients with them on visits.
Privacy law expert Jonathan Forsey said it was unusual for medical information to be transferred in a private staff car, and he believes health information privacy codes of practice for storing and transferring documents have been breached.
NZN / 3 News
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20/07/2012 10:17:31 p.m.
While perhaps more applicable to ACC, when there are clear breaches of client privacy or matters likely to lead to complaints, health administration officials usually cover up and pick off clients affected by such botch-ups one by one. The only way that protocols are changed are if these matters get into the media and the pressure comes on the department involved, to actually do something about rectifying.
Otherwise all you get are meaningless platitudes or 'stonewalling'.
20/07/2012 11:47:06 a.m.
This is a great way of diverting a crime. I work for healthcare NZ and the practice of the registered Nurse, employed with HCNZ is standard practice when visiting clients in their home. As long as the documents are not visible from outside the vehicle. Or, any client information must be hidden from view when the employee is not present in the vehicle. This is standard practice. Jonathan Forsey's comments are completely false. But why let a good story get in the way of the facts!.
20/07/2012 10:36:57 a.m.
Why on earth would someone hand something like that into the media!!!??? Why not the police or the closest hospital?
20/07/2012 10:30:21 a.m.
Why did they not hand them back to Healthcare New Zealand and stop a lot more people from reading them ? They could have still informed the media of the situation if they wished or did they need the proof? Makes you wonder who would steal such things in first place...have they copied the notes on how to access some properties. Who knows the old man of the mountain that's who knows.
20/07/2012 10:21:18 a.m.
Who was the fine, upstanding member of our society who found these documents discarded in the street? Of course, their first thought was to take these obviously confidential papers straight to the Police.................yeah right!!!
So, for a bit of personal gain, or simple big-headedness, they passed them to the media.
The documents did not belong to them, nor to the media. Therefore they should have been handed straight to the Police who would then find the rightful owner. To keep them or to pass them onto another person is theft. I believe it's called "Theft by finding".
20/07/2012 10:19:35 a.m.
Why give to the media instead of to the police or back to to the health board. Seems every git wants assumes something sinister is going on and every corporation or government department is sinister and corrupt. What about the millions that are above board and morally upstanding. And still Why didn’t Bronwyn Pullar just give the file back and hang on to them? All public DHB's etc have so far not hid anything and replied on publicly about any
problems or mistakes that have risen.
20/07/2012 9:58:42 a.m.
Good to see the public doing the right thing, "A member of the public found them on a suburban street and handed them to media.", surely the police should be the first point of contact here!
20/07/2012 9:12:50 a.m.
apart from the fact that it is wrong to steal a car
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