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Saskatoon Health Region sees increase in privacy breaches and complaints

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Saskatoon Health region sees increase in privacy breaches and complaints
WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon Health Region sees increase in privacy breaches and complaints – May 25, 2017

The Saskatoon Health Region’s latest data shows that there has been a 50 per cent increase in the total number of privacy breaches and complaints.

The data was compiled between April 1 and March 31 in each fiscal year.

YearLevel 1Level 2Level 3Not Substantiated/Tracked
2012-20134911025
2013-20145412014
2014-20157215121
2015-20169422444

 

READ MORE: New Sask. legislation aims to further protect health information

According to the region’s enterprise risk management director Lori Frank, the increase can be attributed to awareness.

“I think both our staff, physicians and general public are becoming more aware of what a privacy breach or privacy concern is … people are becoming more astute about what privacy means to them as healthcare consumers,” Frank said.

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The Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) breaks down privacy violation into three categories:

Level 1: Unintentional. Example: carelessness in handling personal health information, like forgetting to log-off a computer.

Level 2: Intentional, not malicious. Breaching policies or legislation surrounding the collection, use and disclosure of information. Example: accessing patient information without proper consent.

Level 3: Intentional and malicious. Knowingly breaching policies surrounding the collection, use and disclosure of information for personal benefit or to harm another person.

“In those [level three] cases there’s an action that the organization takes beyond education or having those conversations … there’s discipline as an outcome,” Frank explained.

READ MORE: Sask. health employee fired for accessing 900 patient charts

Social media has also played a role in the increase of violations and subsequent complaints.

“Social media is a big part of our world, but what we find is that social media isn’t just an extension of the workplace.”

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“You might find someone talks about their day in a closed group. I think we forget social media isn’t closed or protected in the way we feel is appropriate,” Frank added.

The SHR wants the public to know about their rights as a healthcare consumer. If you think an employee has shared too much information or been careless with it, the region asks you to contact the safety alert line at 306-655-1600.

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