Ca: AHS cited for privacy breach after devastating Shaw fire

I’ve occasionally noted the problems that may arise following a natural disaster. Here’s a case where a health service did its best to ensure patient care following a massive outage due to fire. Although they had a plan in place,  the commissioner’s investigation found that the plan was not sufficiently comprehensive, was not understood by all staff, and the plan had failed to identify one part of the system as critical, resulting in some staff making on-the-fly decisions to use their personal email and text accounts to try to provide services and continuity.

Sherri Zickefoose reports:

Alberta Health Services breached the Health Information Act after staff used personal email and cellphones to carry on business following a system outage, the privacy commissioner says.

But AHS says it did its best to provide patient care following an explosion in Shaw Communications’ downtown headquarters that knocked out computer servers July 11, 2012.

In a decision released Thursday, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner says AHS lacked a comprehensive plan to deal with such disasters affecting business continuity.

Read more on Calgary Herald.

You can access the full investigation report here (pdf).

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