NZ: Patient documents missing, reportedly lost in ‘a gust of wind’

Joanne Carroll reports:

A health board employee  is under investigation after “misplacing” hundreds of patients’ medical information – some of which are still missing.

The Canterbury and West Coast District Health Board only became aware of what it calls a “potential privacy breach” when a member of the public found some of the documents in the Christchurch suburb of Hornby on February 11.

The documents contained 300 people’s names and health numbers, and at least 15 patients’ private health information such as clinical notes. One affected patient said she was told her medical notes had “blown away in a gust of wind”.

Read more on Stuff.

Update:  Laura Mills of the Otago Daily Times subsequently reported additional details:

The West Coast District Health Board has launched a full investigation after confidential patient information concerning 300 patients from Grey Base Hospital was found in a Christchurch suburb.

Some of the documents remain missing, raising fears that they may have been destroyed.

Responding to a query from the Greymouth Star, the board yesterday admitted the ”potential” privacy breach, which it said related to a ”serious employment issue”.

Read more on Otago Daily Times.

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