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Hospital cleaner allegedly read patient folder

September 08, 2009
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RICHMOND, BC, Canada — After learning that a cleaner at the Richmond Hospital allegedly read through her personal medical file, Maria Smith filed an official complaint, according to the Richmond Review.
While lying in bed after being readmitted for complications from a recent hysterectomy, Smith overheard a conversation between the cleaner and a nurse, both Filipino and without nametags, where the nurse claimed she knew definitively that Smith would be discharged later that day, the story stated.
According to the story, neither the cleaner nor the nurse knew that Smith, who is also Filipino, understood the entire conversation, and when she ran into the cleaner while returning magazines to the entertainment room before heading home, the cleaner told Smith she had read through her file.
Anna Marie D''Angelo, senior media relations officer for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, said: "[There is] no evidence that non-clinical staff had access to private patient information at Richmond Hospital at this time. We take patient confidentiality and privacy very seriously."
Smith claims that she is unsatisfied with the response she received from the hospital about the matter and was told the cleaner "should be given a chance to mend her ways," the story noted.
An investigation is ongoing and as of yet, Smith has not been issued an apology for the alleged breach in doctor-patient confidentiality, the story added.
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