Confidential medical records found abandoned
Published Tuesday, April 28, 2015 4:33PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 28, 2015 6:42PM EDT
A discovery inside an apartment building's recycling bin has one London man fuming, after private medical documents from a nearby pharmacy were found tossed - unshredded.
Michael Burtis' medical information was found in an outdoor recycling bin at a downtown apartment building.
"That's actual - right from the doctor, for the meds that I'm supposed to be taking. [The pharmacist] just had this last week and now I have it in my hands, I shouldn't have it," he says.
"It's upsetting enough for myself but then there are other people out there with their information, and who knows it could go into anybody's hands."
The paper contains Burtis' name and a list of medication information from his doctor at the London Health Sciences Centre.
But he wasn't the only one whose information was found inside the paper recycling bin outside of 425 King Street, an apartment building beside The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy.
The building's superintendent contacted CTV News when he found two documents containing confidential information, but another look with a reporter uncovered another eight.
The discovery left superintendent Lloyd Morden shocked when he saw what some of the paperwork contained.
In one document he explains, "First name, last name, address, phone number, postal code and a list of medications they're on."
None of the papers found contained medical information belonging to residents of the apartment complex itself, and among the documents was also confidential information about the pharmacy itself, including a detailed sales summary for the month of March.
"People are in these recycling bins all the time and there are 36 people living here and they're dumping stuff all the time, so it's not exactly a private place. It's very public and it's very disturbing," Morden says.
The nearby Medicine Shoppe location is owned by pharmacist Gossette Radlein. After repeated attempts to contact her, CTV News reached her by phone but she said she had no comment on the matter.
Burtis says he is frustrated about what happened and hopes to eventually speak to the owner to get some answers
"I don't think it's anybody else's business, it's between me, my doctor and the pharmacist, and it shouldn't have been in someone else's garbage bin."
Burtis did attempt to speak to owner of the pharmacy Tuesday, to find out how his personal information made its way into the recycling bin, she wasn't in, but he plans to try again later this week.
As for what pharmacies are supposed to do with documents, the Ontario College of Pharmacists says pharmacies should ensure that records marked for disposal are physically segregated from other records in a secure area and clearly marked for disposal.
Pharmacies are also accountable for taking reasonable steps to protect personal health information and to keep it secure.
The college says it takes situations such as this one very seriously.