The search for a missing dental health logbook, with the information of more than 300 students, will continue on, says Pat Living, spokeswoman for Department of Health and Social Services.
In late July, Whitehorse residents whose children attended Christ the King were informed of the missing book through a letter, explaining the book had been lost or misplaced.
It was discovered that the book was missing at the end of the school year, but the department opted to undergo a thorough search before informing parents.
“We undertook an extensive search, by multiple players, through all the possible locations that the book could be,” said Living.
That search included the dental health office, the dental therapy room in the school, and vehicles that the therapists were traveling in.
“We took a period of time to look for it and when we had exhausted all the locations we could think of, that’s when we undertook to inform the parents. That took us several weeks.”
Each school has its own dental logbook. They are typically stored in the dental health office. Therapists visiting a school check out the books as needed. The book is kept locked in the dental office at the school and returned to the main dental office at the end of the year. The department noticed the Christ the King book was missing in June.
“We believe it’s been misplaced,” said Living. “Once school is back in we think we stand a pretty good chance of being able to track it down.”
The department has not been able to complete a search of all the schools, as many are shut down over the summer months and many dental therapists may change schools.
“The search is ongoing,” Living said. “We haven’t stopped looking for it. We very clearly understand the importance of protecting personal information for both our clients and our patients.”
The logbook contained student names and numbers, dates of birth, and dental plan information – such as “tooth five had a filling.”
The information, Living said, could not be used to commit identity fraud.
The department has informed Diane McLeod-McKay, the territory’s information and privacy commissioner, but not the RCMP as they don’t believe it has been stolen.
The process has led to the department evaluating its current procedures and how it can “implement changes to prevent similar instances from occurring.”
“I’ve been with the department for about 20 years and this is the first time something like this has happened. The program itself predates me by a good 20 to 30 years, no one can remember anything like this happening before,” Living said.
“If it surfaces we will happily send out a letter saying it has been found.”
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