NB Privacy commissioner probes storage of medical records

Tammy Scott-Wallace reports:

The province’s access to information and privacy commissioner has launched an investigation into the proper safekeeping of medical records in light of concerns in the Sussex area.

Last month patients of Dr. Cathy Hurd, who left her practice in Sussex before Christmas to work outside the province, were outraged when they received letters in the mail from Horizon Health Network. Even though patients were told their records would be placed in storage locally until they had a new doctor, the health authority admitted it opted instead to pack up the stacks of medical folders left behind by Hurd and transport them to an Ontario firm to make electronic files of them and copies as patients required.

Read more in the Telegraph-Journal.

Certainly there are concerns and issues when a doctor’s office closes in terms of what happens to the records. Maintaining their security and confidentiality while giving patients access to their records are crucial. In this case, nothing untoward or inappropriate may have occurred, but the incident is a good opportunity for the privacy commissioner to consider this type of scenario and issue clarification of any privacy and access guidelines.

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