31 July 2013

Medical records dumped in Woden?

| SheepGroper
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medical records

I found these dumped medical records in the paper recycling cage at Woden. There are records from several people there so it seems unlikely an individual decided to dump their medical records.

There are receipts that show credit card numbers, details of medical treatments and of course names and addresses. The photo is of just a few items from one folder.

I thought medical centres had some kind of privacy guidelines that covered safe disposal of confidential records?

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echoztrip said :

Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been working in IT for years servicing medical practices of all sizes. There is a general complacency when it comes to data security and patient records. For example, open remote access (first no no) to their primary server with a simple 4 character password. More common than you think in Canberra.

Being someone in IT, what do you make of the new e-health record system that the government says all of 4% of people have bothered to sign up with. (I’m not one of them btw, though I certainly see the benefits of doing so one day).

Here_and_Now4:29 pm 13 Aug 13

Is the principle of privacy maintained by collecting these documents, reading them , photographing them, and putting them on the internet?

Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been working in IT for years servicing medical practices of all sizes. There is a general complacency when it comes to data security and patient records. For example, open remote access (first no no) to their primary server with a simple 4 character password. More common than you think in Canberra.

SheepGroper said :

c_c™ said :

I recognise some of those as being from an orthodontist practice working out of Gadal Chambers in Woden that use to be called Bryce, Whittle and (I could never remember the third guy). They have since been rebranded though, so that looks like old files that have been dumped.

Looking through them, there’s stuff from businesses in Corinna Chambera and Gadal Chambers, both on Corinna Street, but there’s stuff from Civic too, a place called Canberra Surgicentre in Braddon, it’s their logo on the outside of the folder. Records seem to run from 2002 to 2008.

Surgicentre specialises in dental procedures, I believe they deal with the orthodontist practice in Gadal Chambers, and the medical imaging place in Corinna chambers so no surprise there.

Appalling. Should be grounds for striking off the culprit.

c_c™ said :

I recognise some of those as being from an orthodontist practice working out of Gadal Chambers in Woden that use to be called Bryce, Whittle and (I could never remember the third guy). They have since been rebranded though, so that looks like old files that have been dumped.

Looking through them, there’s stuff from businesses in Corinna Chambera and Gadal Chambers, both on Corinna Street, but there’s stuff from Civic too, a place called Canberra Surgicentre in Braddon, it’s their logo on the outside of the folder. Records seem to run from 2002 to 2008.

notdingers said :

Would you be willing to discuss what you found with me and maybe we can get to the bottom of what happened? It would be very good material for the article and help to shed light on incidents such as this.

Sure, message sent.

This incident does not eclipse the hundreds of passports dumped in the recycling cage at Greenway in 2007 by the Malyasian High Commission.
Businesses should be reminded also that “secure destruction” services offered by some document destruction companies simply means “baled in a locked shed before being shipped to Asia for [sorting] and recycling”.

Maybe it is the bad training given to the underpaid staff. Unfortunately children are not taught to think and work things out for themselves, so how can they think of other peoples needs if they are not taught in the first place.

SheepGroper I am researching Privacy Law and am looking at writing a Law Journal article about breaches of privacy such as this. Also a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Privacy.

Would you be willing to discuss what you found with me and maybe we can get to the bottom of what happened? It would be very good material for the article and help to shed light on incidents such as this.

My email is u3080139@uni.canberra.edu.au

Brandi said :

It certainly goes against the AMA’s Code of Ethics (https://ama.com.au/codeofethics).

The AMA is the doctors’ union, although they don’t publicise that I notice.

If it was from an orthodontics practice though, they’re dentists. The only area of dentistry covered by medical/AMA is maxillofacial.

Glad it’s not my Woden Practice. Scarey.

It certainly goes against the AMA’s Code of Ethics (https://ama.com.au/codeofethics).

Consider contacting the ACT Health Services Commissioner (http://www.hrc.act.gov.au/health/), who can at least advise how to make a complaint.

Girt_Hindrance7:08 pm 28 Jul 13

Yep, that’s farking disgusting, as well as in breach of the information privacy principles which are a legal obligation. I hope these clowns are made aware of these records being found by members of the public.
Possibly a slip up of a staff member who just turfed the records, but I would think that a business like this would have in place methods of secure disposal of these records…

I would think this is covered under IPP 4, Storage and Security of personal information.
http://www.oaic.gov.au/images/documents/migrated/migrated/HRC_PRIVACY_PUBLICATION.pdf_file.p6_4_15.7.pdf

I recognise some of those as being from an orthodontist practice working out of Gadal Chambers in Woden that use to be called Bryce, Whittle and (I could never remember the third guy). They have since been rebranded though, so that looks like old files that have been dumped.

These should have been confetti shredded and then recycled. But what do you expect, medical administration staff are some of the most incompetent people you’ll find.

Frightening to think that a medical practice is that irresponsible.

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