Dozens of data leaks per year in hospitals Alkmaar and Den Helder
Dozens of times a year privacy-sensitive information from patients ends up in the wrong hands due to data leaks at the Noordwest Hospital in Alkmaar and Den Helder. In most cases, it concerns mail that is sent to the wrong address, but sometimes information ends up on the street due to forgotten USB sticks lying around in or around the hospital. There are also NWZ employees who view a patient's medical files without permission, Noordhollands Dagblad reports. This year, 41 incidents have been reported so far. In 2019, 66 data breaches were found in the two locations and there were 42 incidents in the previous year. According to the NHD, digital personal data is insufficiently protected due to system errors. According to the newspaper, things also go wrong with the non-digital data of patients; For example, printed documents and patient labels are left unprotected at the NWZ locations and letters are given to the wrong person for an appointment.
NWZ spokesperson Marieke de Vries declares in the NHD that most data leaks are harmless. "In general, the person who unintentionally comes into contact with information about another person is a reliable party that returns it properly. This does not have to be reported to the Dutch Data Protection Authority or the person concerned." If someone looks at a file without permission, the hospital always reports this, according to De Vries. That happened five times in 2020. This was not the case in 2018 and 2019. Employees are always caught eventually, says de Vries. According to the spokesperson, the IT systems are designed to always register unauthorized access to systems. "Something like this will sooner or later be discovered, because we continuously perform audits." This is followed by a meeting with a warning or dismissal.
ICT malfunction affects hospitals, patients cannot view their file
Several hospitals in the Netherlands have to contend with an IT failure. As a result, patients cannot register digitally at the hospital and they cannot view their online file, which also includes laboratory results, for example. GPs are also unable to log in to a number of hospitals due to the malfunction. The Northwest Hospital Group with branches in Alkmaar and Den Helder, the Isala in Zwolle and the ZorgSaam Zorggroep in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, among others, report a malfunction. The patient portal of the Diakonessenhuis in Utrecht, the St. Jans Gasthuis in Weert and the Dijklander Hospital, with branches in Hoorn and Purmerend, is also not working.
A spokesperson for the Northwest Hospital Group says that video calling is not possible at the moment. "Because of the corona virus, we are using it more often, and that is why we are now conducting telephone conversations with our patients. Video calling is preferred, because then you see the patient." According to the spokesperson, the problem lies with a large ICT service provider in healthcare, ICTZ. "That's where our systems are." When asked, that company says that the failure is not their fault, but that the problem lies with the "connection provider of the data center".
Empty shelves in Albert Heijn supermarkets after fire in distribution center: '8000 pallets with food thrown away'
These days, customers of Albert Heijn supermarkets in Brabant find empty shelves where the fresh products are normally located. After a fire on Wednesday in the Albert Heijn distribution center in Tilburg, 8,000 pallets of fresh produce had to be thrown away because they were unsaleable due to smoke and fire damage, says a team leader from one of the branches in our province. Since the fire, several Brabant supermarkets have been facing major delivery problems. No meat, dairy, vegetables and fruits. Many customers had to deal with this in recent days. In the supermarkets there were notes that spoke of 'an incident at the distribution center', which left the shelves empty.
A spokeswoman for Albert Heijn confirms that fresh products were indeed thrown away as a result of the fire. "We expect to need another three days or so to get the stores back in order." A truck caught fire at that distribution center in Tilburg on Wednesday. The fire briefly spread to a shed, filling it with smoke. According to the team leader, that smoke resulted in 8,000 pallets of food being rejected. As a result, approximately 120 stores had supply problems.
Translated from Dutch to English with Google translate