Blunder as vaginal hysterectomy file goes to wrong patient

SUE-ANNE Druery was happy to receive a note from Nambour General Hospital confirming her knee surgery appointment. What she didn't expect was the private details of another patient's "vaginal hysterectomy".

An "unintentional breach of confidentiality" resulted in Ms Druery receiving a note that wasn't meant for her eyes.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service chief operating officer Karen Roach has apologised for the blunder.

Ms Druery received her letter last week.

She was "flipping through the pages" which were stapled together when she saw something referring to a "vaginal hysterectomy".

She was puzzled because, as far as she was concerned, only her knee was going under the scalpel.

It was then she noticed the patient details did not match hers at all.

"The letter was to the other lady's doctor from the hospital," Ms Druery said.

"It had her name, her date of birth and what the procedure was on it."

When confirming her appointment at the hospital, Ms Druery mentioned the paperwork error.

"They told me to tear it off and throw it in the bin," she said.

Ms Roach said staff had obligations under various acts to treat "patient information with the strictest confidence".

"Appointment booking staff have been reminded of the importance of maintaining patient privacy at all times," she said.

Topics:  nambour general hospital sunshine coast hospital and health service

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