Canadian Doctor Suspended for Privacy Breach
Dr. Deanne Watrich apparently accessed patient records when a colleague failed to log out of a hospital computer.
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta recently found Dr. Deanne Watrich guilty of unprofessional conduct for accessing the electronic health records of three people with whom she had no doctor/patient relationship (h/t PHIprivacy.net).
The investigation followed complaints filed by three people in December 2010 claiming that their personal health records had been accessed without their consent.
Dr. Watrich apparently admitted having accessed the records in the emergency department of Edmonton's Misericordia Hospital when a prior user had failed to log out of a hospital computer.
"Dr. Watrich also acknowledged she knew that because the prior user had not logged out of the computer, her unique user identification and password would not appear in the user logs," the College said in a statement [PDF file].
"Watrich was in a personal relationship with one of the complainants when she accessed some of the records, the tribunal found, and in a relationship with the former spouse of said complainant when she accessed others," writes The St. Albert Gazette's Kevin Ma.
Dr. Watrich will be suspended for 60 days and will be required to pay costs of $22,232.59 related to the College's investigation and hearing.