May 5, 2008
The Hospital Authority has appointed a task force to enhance security
following cases of lost electronic devices containing patient data.
Former Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Stephen Lau will chair the
group. Other members are the authority's board member Charles Mok,
Computer Society President Sunny Lee and the authority's Clinical Data
Policy Group Chairman Dr Chong Lap-chuen.
The task force will submit a report to the authority's Chief Executive
Shane Solomon in three months.
There were nine reported cases on data loss via electronic devices in
the past 12 months, involving 5,988 patients. A total of 3,117 of the
losses did not involve personal particulars, while 961 of the remaining
data items were not password protected.
Of them, eight cases were reported to Police and seven were
theft-related. The data loss cases happened at Pamela Youde Nethersole
Eastern Hospital (four cases), Kowloon Hospital (two cases), Queen Mary
Hospital (one case), Tuen Mun Hospital (one case) and United Christian
Hospital (one case).
The lost electronic devices included four USB memory sticks, one palm
handheld device, one MP3 player, one Central Processing Unit, one laptop
computer and one digital camera.
The data lost was mainly collected manually. Patients involved in four
reported cases have been contacted. Hospitals will continue to contact
concerned patients if needed.
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