Even in 2020, Québec recognizes even the death of the COVID-19 by fax and by post, this has led to errors and delays in the counting of the dead in recent weeks.
More than 200 deaths have been “forgotten” because of the seniors homes or NURSING homes simply have not sent a fax of the death bulletins of the department of public health in their region.
It has sometimes taken weeks before the situation is rectified and that the deaths could be identified.
Even yesterday, the government has added to its balance sheet day 22 deaths that occurred before 27 may.
The means of communication of the last century still play an important role in the health care network, where we invoke questions of privacy continue to use them.
A view not shared not a computer security expert (see below).
Not to mention that the handling of paper has been identified in outbreaks of COVID-19 in the premises occupied by the staff of the public health of the Estrie and the Montérégie. Dozens of nurses and other staff members have been infected, and a doctor died in April.
Of the dead in late
On the 25th of last may, prime minister François Legault announced 85 dead in its balance sheet daily. Our Office of investigations has revealed the next day that half of these deaths were from a single private CHSLD de Laval, who had not sent their faxes for weeks. Deaths dated back to April 12.
Since then, the prime minister has ceased to make itself the balance sheet, of daily death, which is rather made public by press release. The deputy minister Yvan Gendron, has sent a letter to institutions reminding them of the procedure of declaration of death.
According to this directive, in addition to sending a copy of the death certificate by fax to the directorate of regional public health, health facilities should send another by post to the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ).
Everything is done in a prepaid envelope sent on chemin Sainte-Foy, Quebec.
165 forgotten in Montreal
By comparing its data with those of the ISQ, the public health directorate of Montreal was discovered that she had “forgotten” 165 cases of deaths related to the COVID-only 19 in may.
“People have a lot of work, they are sometimes overwhelmed. Oversights are made. When we notice it, we are going back to the establishments to obtain the copy of death certificates, ” explains Hélène Perrault, information officer at the public health directorate of Montreal.
In recent days, the public health, Montérégie has also compared its information received by facsimile with those of the ISQ to realize he was missing, probably dead from the COVID-19.
The fax is not secure, says an expert
The ministry of Health says that the fax machine is the tool most safe to treat confidential data with the current time, an assertion contradicted by a computer security expert.
Since 14 April, the ministry request to the residences and accommodation Centres, and long-term care (CHSLD) to forward a copy of all death certificates of patients who died COVID-19.
“The forms [of death] is paper, the fax is still the most secure form for sending of confidential data to public health departments “, said by e-mail, Marie-Claude Lacasse, from the ministry of Health.
A view not shared not a computer security expert. It is estimated that the use of a fax machine is a thing of the past.
“For the management of data, they are clearly not in 2020. It is a serious problem. It is rather in the technology of the 60’s “, said the co-founder of Hack fest, Patrick Mathieu.
The data sent by fax are not encrypted and could be intercepted by a malicious person, via the telephone line.
“Even an e-mail is more secure “, he says.
According to Patrick Mathieu, it is normal that the ministry of Health is concerned about the protection of personal information, but he does not believe that the transmission of data by computer would be less secure than fax.
The it expert said it would be simple to have data on deaths are taken into account through the use of simple databases secure.
He gives as example the technology used by Hello Health for making an appointment with a doctor at a clinic.