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Medical Records Faxed to Newspaper

DATA LOSS—CANADA

April 21, 2010

Alberta's Information and Privacy Commission is reviewing a breach involving the medical records of a woman, which were faxed to a provincial newspaper rather than her physician. The Calgary Sun received the 11-page fax. Privacy Commissioner Frank Work said the incident appears to have resulted from "human error, plain and simple." He said he hopes doctors learn from the mistake and would like to see more physicians move toward electronic records to help prevent such errors. Although Alberta is ahead of other provinces in electronic records adoption, federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser said this week that too few doctors nationwide are making the switch.

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