Latest News

12
Sep
2019

All quiet on medical records leak – GEELONG ADVERTISER

By Tamara Mcdonald

BARWON Health remains tight-lipped on the findings of an investigation into how detailed private medical records recently ended up on a street.

The organisation confirmed the incident had been “thoroughly investigated,” but would not say how it occurred.
Last month the Addy revealed that handover documents containing the private information of 13 aged-care patients from Blakiston Lodge in North Geelong were found on a street about 300m from the centre.

The lodge, part of Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre, provides specialist dementia and high-needs aged care.

 

No answers on blunder

How were patient records left in street?

 

BARWON Health has been tight-lipped on the findings of an investigation into how private medical records recently ended up on a street.

The organisation confirmed the alarming incident had been “thoroughly investigated,” but would not say how it was thought to have occurred.

Last month the Addy revealed that handover documents containing private information of 13 patients from Blakiston Lodge in North Geelong were found on a street about 300m from the centre.

The 90-bed lodge, part of Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre, provides specialist dementia-specific and mental health aged care.

The documents detailed sensitive information including about patients’ continence levels, bowel movements, mental health conditions and medications.

Australian Patients Association general manager Jas Streten said Barwon Health should be more transparent about the investigation.

He said it was “very disappointing” no changes in their systems had been offered as a solution to ensure such a breach did not occur again.

“One would think that something as serious as a person’s medical records being made public would lead to some sort of changes to how they’d be managed moving forward,” Mr Streten said.

State Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said patients deserved to know if their sensitive and confidential information was being kept safe and secure and wouldn’t be left out on the street again.

Barwon Health would not directly address whether any changes had been implemented or staff disciplined as a result of the leak.

“Barwon Health expects all staff to maintain the highest privacy standards, especially in relation to patient records,” spokeswoman Kate Bibby said.

“Processes are in place to securely dispose of medical notes at the end of each shift and these processes have been strongly reiterated to all staff to ensure such a breach does not happen again.”

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson said the commission would use the findings of the Barwon Health investigation to inform the scope of its next monitoring visit to the McKellar Centre.

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