The following statement is provided by Nancy Martin-Ronson, VP, Chief Information Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, in response to inquiries related to a recent disciplinary decision of the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Peterborough Regional Health Centre takes patient privacy very seriously and supports the decision of the Discipline Committee of the College of Nurses of Ontario. It sends a strong and clear message that breaching patient privacy is unacceptable.

PRHC’s zero tolerance policy with respect to inappropriate access to medical records is not negotiable and communicated to all levels of the organization. PRHC employees are required to sign a confidentiality agreement when they start their employment and also undertake privacy training every year. Ms. Reid did both.

In March 2012, a privacy breach complaint was lodged against Ms. Reid. PRHC activated its Privacy Breach Protocol and suspended her access to the Electronic Medical Record. The Hospital conducted an investigation and performed an audit on her accesses to patients’ personal health information. Unauthorized accesses to patient medical records were identified.

The Hospital reported the breach, and the steps that it took once it discovered the breach, to the Information and Privacy Commissioner in March 2012. The Hospital also notified the College of Nurses. The Hospital consulted with the IPC to determine the scope of patient notification and mailed notification letters shortly thereafter. In June 2012, the IPC confirmed it was satisfied with PRHC’s response to this breach.

Any patient who has concerns or wishes to inquire about access to their personal health information can contact the hospital’s Privacy Officer at 705-876-5151.