Health-System Pharmacist Fired for Illicitly Accessing Health Records

March 22, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

A health-system pharmacist was recently let go after peeking at the health records of patients not in his care.

A health-system pharmacist was recently let go after peeking at the health records of patients who were not in his care.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) discovered the unidentified Grace Hospital pharmacist’s actions during an audit by WRHA privacy staff, according to Global News.

The pharmacist had accessed the records of patients whom he was not caring for using an electronic system that provides health information, including name, address, prescription records, lab results, immunizations, and X-ray reports, Global News reported. The hospital’s system tracks user activity, which assists the privacy audit process.

The 56 patients whose information the pharmacist viewed were all notified by WRHA, Global News reported.

“We apologize for this breach occurring—that should not have occurred,” WRHA chief operating officer Real Cloutier told Global News. “The person was just curious and looking at information. There was nothing illegal going on per say.”

Cloutier noted that WRHA did not find any evidence of the pharmacist accessing the information in order to sell it or to provide it to a third party.

Going forward, Global News reported that a review of WRHA’s handling of the privacy breach would be conducted, and the authority will work on a plan to prevent such incidents from happening again.