Findings under the Privacy Act
Psychiatric nurse forgets ex-inmate’s treatment file on bus
A former inmate residing at Toronto’s Keele Community Correctional Centre complained after a psychiatric nurse employed by the facility left an envelope containing his treatment notes on public transit.
The director of the centre, a halfway house for 40 men freed from federal institutions under statutory release provisions, wrote to the complainant to advise him of the loss of the documents.
The director conceded that the complainant’s privacy had been breached and apologized for the incident. He also stated that the matter had been investigated internally, and that actions were taken to prevent a recurrence.
In particular, the nurse was reminded of his duty to safeguard the personal information of patients. He was also reminded not to transport patient files from the office, unless they are encrypted.
Our investigation confirmed that the complainant’s privacy had been breached and upheld his complaint as well founded.
We also concluded that the facility, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Correctional Service of Canada, had taken appropriate corrective measures in the wake of this incident.