B.C.: ‘Human Error’ Behind Mistake Where Patient Information Released

Laurena Weninger reports:

Personal patient information sent out by Interior Health to those to whom it did not belong is being chalked up as “human error.”

“This breach was caused by a setting on a new device not being correctly set, resulting in double appointment letters being stuffed into envelopes,” said a letter sent out to a number of patients within Interior Health’s coverage area, which includes Osoyoos.

Zeno Cescon, a regional director for diagnostic imaging for Interior Health, said the “human error” was due to a setting on some new technology being used at six diagnostic imaging sites in the region – Trail, Cranbrook, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops – but it only affected patients using the Penticton Regional Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Department.


The letters that were sent out in error include the patient’s name, home address, phone numbers, date of birth, public health card number, ordering physician, family physician, a description of the exam scheduled, as well as an appointment time and pre-appointment instructions.

On April 28, 187 patient letters were generated, stuffed into envelopes, and mailed.

But the stuffer was set to put multiple copies into the envelopes and that means some people got other peoples’ letters.

Read more on Osoyoos Times.

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