Statement regarding privacy breaches at Nova Scotia Health Authority

July 17, 2017

 

(HALIFAX, NS) Nova Scotia Health Authority is in the process of contacting a total of 337 people whose personal health information was inappropriately accessed in two separate and unrelated incidents. Everyone who is affected will hear directly from NSHA and we will be available to discuss the details of these breaches of confidentiality with them.

We apologize to everyone whose private information was viewed and to Nova Scotians in general, who entrust our organization and its people with care of their health and safeguarding of their personal health information.

Staff and physicians across our organization require varying degrees of access to information to provide care to our patients. Our organization takes several steps to ensure that all employees understand appropriate access and their obligation to keep patient information confidential, as well as to monitor access and identify inappropriate activity.

These steps include:

  • Pledges of confidentiality signed by all new staff, and standard orientation regarding privacy across the province.
  • Ongoing in-person education for managers and front-line staff
  • New online privacy and confidentiality learning module being introduced this summer, with expectation all staff will complete and submit pledge of confidentiality (not just new hires)
  • Pro-active auditing capability in place and being used across the province with additional health information systems being added

NSHA takes any breach of confidentiality seriously, and thoroughly investigates potential inappropriate access. While we are extremely disappointed that these breaches have occurred, we maintain confidence in the ethical practices of employees throughout our organization.

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Media Contact:
Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344