A Dalmeny care home may have used a chicken farm to destroy sensitive medical records, Saskatchewan’s privacy and information commissioner found out during his report into privacy concerns at the home.
Commissioner Ron Kruzeniski found out Spruce Manor Special Care Home hired a chicken farm in May, 2012 to shred private documents.
Kruzeniski was investigating the home, located 25 kilometres north of Saskatoon, after residents’ health cards were found in a recycling bin.
The undisclosed chicken farm agreed to “accept full responsibility to maintain the security and confidentiality of all documents received from Spruce Manor Special Care Home” and make sure the records were shredded ” in a timely manner and in such a manner that they are irretrievable.”
The care home said it was responsible for the documents until they were received by the farm.
Kruzeniski said the agreement is “unacceptable” because the home did not use a National Association of Information Destruction certified company to destroy the personal records. The agreement also did not say how the farm intended to keep the documents secure and confidential or how and when they would be destroyed.
He also said the home could not relinquish its responsibility of the documents at any point of the process.
It’s unclear if any files were ever sent to or destroyed by the chicken farm. In his report, Kruzeniski said the current administration said she never used the agreement.
The home’s chairperson of the board told Kruzeniski he spoke with the former administrator “stating he did not have any problems or concerns with the use of the chicken farm.” However, the chairperson told Kruzeniski they have since canceled the agreement and are searching for a shredding company.