A doctor in Emerald Park is getting his hand slapped for a second time over the same privacy breach.
In November last year, Dr. Serhaii Haidash was found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for looking up more than a dozen people’s medical information without a good reason.
The breach was discovered by one of the victims, who brought it to the College of Physicians and Surgeons. She also sent a complaint to the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner.
This week, the privacy commissioner put out his report, which confirmed Haidash violated the patients’ privacy.
The report said Haidash believed the breaches happened when he was teaching his wife how to use systems in his medical facility, Eastside Medical Clinic in Emerald Park.
Ronald Kruzenski, privacy commissioner, said that isn’t a good enough reason to look up health information as it’s supposed to be need-to-know.
“It’s on the basis that you only access that when this person is your client, and you’re accessing his or her information because you’re treating that patient,” Kruzenski said.
The report states Haidash’s solicitor explained the doctor had “picked unique names he was familiar with” to teach his wife.
In the report, Kruzenski called that alarming because it could suggest he looked up the information of people he knows, “including family, friends, foes or acquaintances.”
According to the commissioner’s report, 18 people’s privacy was breached.
None of them have yet been notified. The complainant found out after ordering an audit of her medical information.
Kruzenski said his office always recommends victims be notified when their privacy is breached. He wrote that his office will do an investigation of the Ministry of Health’s role because they are the trustee for the system used to look up the information.
There were only two official recommendations in the report. Both address Haidash developing written policies around the Health Information Privacy Act, which he was already doing after the College of Physicians and Surgeons’ investigation.
“It’s extremely important that you kind of have a list of actions or non-actions that people follow when they work in your office.”
The commissioner said he hopes this case will act as a reminder to other doctors and medical professionals to ensure privacy procedures are either in place or up to date.