Tag: network

Hamilton hospital network has reported 5 cases of staff ‘snooping’ to privacy watchdog this year alone

A major Hamilton hospital network has reported 11 privacy breaches, including five involving “snooping,” to the Ontario watchdog this year alone. 

The most recent case, revealed this week, resulted in Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) firing eight employees for looking through personal health information of some 4,000 patients over 12 months. The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) said it’s investigating this case as well as “any systemic issues that may be at the root of it.”

HHS has reported another 10 privacy breach cases to the IPC in 2023, the IPC confirmed to CBC Hamilton. Four of those cases also involved employees snooping or looking at records out of curiosity. The IPC did not provide details about the other six cases. 

Of the four other snooping cases, half are still being investigated and half are completed, said HHS spokesperson Wendy Stewart. So far, two employees have been terminated and 42 patients whose records were looked at were notified. 

To prevent privacy breaches, HHS does monthly system audits, Stewart said.

As well, all staff, including doctors and students, are trained on “their responsibility to safeguard patient health information,” she said.

HHS reported an additional 23 privacy breaches in 2022. IPC said it dealt with all of them in the “early resolution stage,” which means they weren’t investigated either because they didn’t fall within IPC’s jurisdiction or the parties reached an informal settlement. 

Patient left with unanswered questions

Patient Roch Longueépée, 53, received a letter from HHS on Tuesday that informed him of the most recent privacy breach detected in April. However, it’s left him with more questions than answers — who accessed his patient records and why? 

“The letter they’ve sent me is unacceptable and I will be demanding more information,” said Longueépée, a Kitchener resident.

“My trust is compromised

North Shore Health Network appeals to Blind River for support

The health network blames provincial funding cuts for dire physician shortages, inability to attract locums resulting in temporary emergency department closures

Cutbacks in provincial funding to keep emergency departments open is contributing to locums unwilling to fill in temporary doctor vacancies at hospitals in the North Shore Health Network, its president and CEO told Blind River Town Council on Monday evening.

The network operates healthcare facilities in Blind River, Thessalon, and Richards Landing – Matthews.

Facilities in Thessalon and Blind River have had to temporarily close their emergency departments due to a doctor shortage, President and CEO Tim Vine said in a letter to Blind River council.

According to Vine, the doctor shortage “is ever worsening.”

“We have a Thessalon hospital and its two aligned clinics with zero permanent physicians,” he said in his letter. “We now have an understaffed Blind River emergency department that has created gaps in coverage.”

Vine blames decreased funding as the cause for doctor shortages and possible temporary emergency room shutdowns.

On March 31, the Ontario government allowed a temporary program called the CTSLPE (COVID-19 Temporary Summer Locum Program Expansion) designed to help rural emergency departments handle the added burden of COVID-19 expire. Rural hospitals like the ones operated by North Shore Health Network can no longer pay locums needed to fill in where there is a doctor shortage a rate that’s competitive with what they would be paid to work at a less isolated facility.

With doctor shortages across the province, competition for locums is tough.

“The expiration of the CTSLPE funding has created backlash from our current locum pool who have stated that it will be extremely hard to make our sites worth their while,” Vine noted. “Compounding our issues, our Sault Area physicians that offer locum support in our emergency departments

Particle Health’s Latest White Paper Offers the Industry’s Most Comprehensive Health Information Network (HIN) Data Exchange Performance Metrics to Date

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Particle Health, a developer-friendly API platform for bi-directional healthcare data exchange, today announced the availability of its white paper that highlights the most comprehensive view of Health Information Network data performance available to date – and provides vital information to gain a true understanding of healthcare interoperability.

The paper, 2023: State of U.S. Healthcare’s National Network Data Exchanges, analyzes not only quantitative comparisons of the data currently exchanged on HINs but also the work that still needs to be done in order to spread the true value of the networks across all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. The report also details critical information on how to successfully leverage HIN data when building digital healthcare tools and operating healthcare organizations or digital platforms.

The recent paper revealed that the nation’s three largest Health Information Networks have indexed healthcare records for the vast majority of Americans, as shown by Particle’s platform finding data across HINs for about nine out of every 10 patients searched for. The CommonWell Health Alliance has access to 29,000 sites and 153 million individuals; Carequality has access to 55,000 sites and 300,000,000 document exchanges per month; and eHealth Exchange has access to 75,000 sites and 120 million individuals. A sample of queryable data found that a plurality (about 45%) of health data available on HINs was generated within the past three years.

To help digital health organizations looking to gain deeper insights into how to search and return patient data more successfully on HINs, Particle Health studied its own technical data from connecting to the three major HINs. By mapping out each network’s endpoints in the U.S., the company was able to rank states by their endpoints per capita. Particle Health found that in 2022, on average:

  • Query success rates (requests

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