The spokesperson for Kwai Chung Hospital (KCH) made the following announcement today (February 18) regarding a hospital staff member who lost a USB flash drive containing patients’ data:
An occupational therapist at KCH discovered the loss of her personal USB flash drive after getting off a taxi on February 16. She immediately reported the loss to the police.The device is not encrypted or password protected.It contained 59 KCH patients’ records and reports with patient names, age, diagnosis, admission date and brief treatment notes. Three of these patient reports contain the patients’ Hong Kong identity card numbers.
The hospital management was informed of the incident the next day (February 17).
It was then reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office (HAHO) through the Advanced Incidents Reporting System. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data was also informed on the same day.
KCH has started to contact all concerned patients and their families to inform them of the incident and to express apologies.The hospital also explained that the incident would not affect patients’ treatment and care.So far KCH has not received any enquiries or reports related to the leakage of the patients’ data.
The hospital is very concerned about the incident and is seriously looking into the matter by conducting an in-depth investigation.According to Hospital Authority established guidelines on the proper use of removable electronic storage devices, hospital staff requiring to use a removable electronic storage device for operational needs should apply for approval from the hospital.The hospital will not allow any non-compliance with relevant guidelines.All staff have been repeatedly reminded of the importance of protection of personal data and privacy.All departments must also review stored data and deleted unnecessary stored personal data in electronic storage devices.The hospital has also requested all staff to attend training sessions on protection of personal data and privacy.
The hospital expresses deep regret over the incident and apologises once again to all concerned patients and their families.