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    Edmonton Journal (Canada): Clinic’s medical files vanish

    The Edmonton Journal reports on a lost medical records at a Canadian clinic:

    During a recent investigation into whether a patient’s confidentiality had been breached at the Fairview Medical Clinic, an investigator asked for a log of who had accessed the complainant’s file. When the clinic responded that it had automated his records in 2004 but only had files from 2006 on, alarm bells rang. […]

    The clinic had permanently lost two years worth of health files that include patient information on visits, prescriptions, lab reports, doctor’s notes and other information. The loss happened when the clinic switched from one electronic medical records system to another.

    [Leahann McElveen, an investigator with the office of the information and privacy commissioner,] determined the loss contravened the Health Information Act, which requires physicians to protect information against reasonably anticipated threats such as loss.

    The investigation found no proof that the complainant’s privacy had been breached by an employee of the clinic, but the loss of records has created concerns.

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