Canadian hospital says 7 patients' OR information was found on neighborhood lawn

Ontario, Canada-based Chatham-Kent Health Alliance notified seven patients of a privacy breach after a health information record was found on a local resident's lawn.

A CKHA record containing health information from a copy of an operating room report was found on a community member's front lawn on March 6. The record included seven patients' names, dates of birth, ages, health card numbers, phone numbers, procedures and surgeon names, according to a CKHA announcement emailed to Becker's Hospital Review.

CKHA immediately conducted an investigation and notified the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Lori Marshall, president and CEO of CKHA, told Chatham Daily News the hospital system is not sure how the record, which is from a few years ago, presented on the lawn.

"We believe it was someone disposing of the information, perhaps from old files," Marshall told Chatham Daily News, adding the record might have come from the hospital or an associated physican's office.

Investigators determined there was no malicious intent or compromise to patients' health information. Following the breach, the hospital system implemented additional privacy and security safeguards related to proper disposal of confidential documents.

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