News Stories of Interest, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

It’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Alberta, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]Briefcase containing private information goes missing – briefly

In the wake of the loss of 620,000 patients’ records by a medical centre operating company, media are now reporting that a briefcase containing private information of 41 people was stolen from a Covenant Health employee’s vehicle in December. The briefcase, which was recovered intact in mid-January, contained nine resumes, discharge summaries relating to 31 patients and one patient concern, Jon Popowich, Edmonton-based Covenant Health’s chief quality and privacy officer said Sunday.

[ ]Zinc, hand wishing beat Vitamin C in fight against colds: study

Vitamin C has no proven, meaningful benefit for the average cold sufferer, although zinc supplements may shorten the misery of the common cold in adults. Antihistamine-decongestant combinations for adults may bring “small to moderate” relief of symptoms, but nasal irrigation, humidified air, garlic, Chinese herbal medicines and echinacea? Not so much. So concludes a new review on the prevention and treatment of the common cold, published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

[ ]Ontario may force older nursing homes to install sprinklers

Ontario is looking to speed up the phase-in of sprinkler systems in nursing and retirement homes following the deadly blaze that destroyed a nursing home in eastern Quebec, the Canadian Press reports.

[ ]Reverse the onus to make nursing home operators pay for preventable fires: CARP

The advocacy VP of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons argues that it’s too easy to let nursing home owners off the hook for failing to provide sprinkler systems. “So let’s make the calculation easier for them. If person dies in a fire under your watch, you pay. You pay for the funeral and into a fund to retrofit all such other care facilities. Families grieving the preventable death of their grandmother rarely have the wherewithal to sue and to delve into the deep weeds of the fire codes. So, let’s reverse the onus. Forget about the excuses and especially the expressions of remorse. They’re not worthy of such tragedies.”

[ ]Death toll from flu reached 15 in Alberta

In total, 15 people have died from flu-related illnesses in the province this season, 10 in Calgary, Alberta Health Services reports.

[ ]Don’t blame privacy commissioner for badly written law: columnist

Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons was clearly unimpressed by Health Minister Fred Horne’s “passive aggressive desire” to have Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton called before the Legislature’s standing committee on legislative offices to explain her lack of action in the case of 620,000 missing health records. Simons wrote: “But Clayton doesn’t work for Horne, nor for the Redford government. She’s an independent officer of the Legislature, like the auditor general. It’s her job to hold the government to account, not the other way around. Attempting to bully or blame her threatens the integrity and independence of her office.”

FYI, I was unable to find the Calgary Sun commentary on Fred Horne cited in this morning’s staff meeting. My only explanation is that the Sun doesn’t always immediately post items from that day’s paper, so it may show up online in a day or two.

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)

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