Posting patient details online: operator gets notice

Posting patient details online: operator gets notice

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The department of health and family welfare has issued a show-cause notice to the data operator who uploaded personal details of patients on the department’s website.

DH reported on Monday that the department had uploaded details of patients with dengue and chikungunya on its website. DH brought this to the notice of concerned officials too. 

An official response from the office of the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme joint director, functioning under the department of health and family welfare, stated that a show-cause notice had been served to the employee who committed the error. “He has been strictly warned not to commit such a mistake in the future,” a note said.

According to the department, the operator sent the line list of these cases by oversight to the computer section and it was uploaded to the department website.

On July 9, the department portal made available details of all dengue and chikungunya cases instead of the number of cases reported on a specific day. The website showed details of the number of positive cases along with dengue, chikungunya and H1N1 deaths.

When DH spoke to patients, they said they were unaware that their details were available online. They were concerned that their personal details could be misused for wrongful deeds.

Activists concerned

Health activists expressing concern over the violation of patient confidentiality said such errors could affect public health programmes adversely. They are afraid this could prompt patients to provide wrong information that could affect scheduled campaigns.