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Employee at New Brunswick hospital fired after ‘significant’ privacy breach

Click to play video: 'Hospital employee fired after ‘significant’ privacy breach' Hospital employee fired after ‘significant’ privacy breach
WATCH: Horizon Health says the personal health information of 1,251 patients at the Charlotte County Hospital was accessed illegally by a staff member. Families impacted say they want to see the person responsible charged. – Jul 8, 2021

Horizon Health says an employee has been fired after “inappropriately” accessing the personal health information of 1,251 people.

The health network says that the staffer was working in health records at the Charlotte County Hospital when the incident occurred and that the employee was dismissed on April 23.

What’s not made clear is the time period over which the breach — or breaches — took place.

Read more: ‘Premature’ to remove COVID restrictions with youth not yet eligible for vaccine: epidemiologist

According to Margaret Melanson, vice-president of quality and patient-centred care for the health network, all 1,251 people affected by the breach have been notified by letter.

“As part of Horizon’s investigation into this matter, we believe there is no evidence to suggest any health information was shared with anyone else,” Melanson says in a written statement.

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“Horizon takes the privacy of our patients and clients very seriously, and we sincerely regret this incident happened.”

Anyone with concerns about their privacy can contact Horizon’s chief privacy officer, Melanson says.

Melanson says that a thorough investigation resulted in the firing of the person responsible, adding that Horizon has shared the information with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Acting Ombud Charles Murray confirms the office’s investigation is underway, with criminal charges “not off the table” – though that decision will need to come later.

Anyone with concerns or complaints is asked to contact his office.

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