178 Albertans notified about privacy breach by former Alberta Health Services employee
The AHS has informed a group of Albertans that details about their health records, that were supposed to remain private, were recently accessed by a former AHS employee.
The agency says it notified the affected individuals on Wednesday. The inappropriate access took place between February and July of this year at Calgary’s Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.
AHS officials say the incident is considered to be ‘unacceptable and disappointing’, especially because recent steps have been made to prevent such breaches by staff members.
“Albertans trust us to safeguard their health and personal information. Moreover, all AHS staff are required to act in accordance with Alberta’s privacy legislation, as well as AHS’ privacy and security policies. As an organization that holds accountability for ensuring the health records of Albertans are never inappropriately accessed, we will be further enhancing our efforts to reinforce the importance of appropriate access and safeguarding patient information,” said Todd Gilchrist, vice president, people, legal and privacy in a release.
AHS became aware of the situation following a Netcare audit supplied by Alberta Health. A subsequent review showed that patient records were inappropriately accessed a number of times at the clinic.
Following an investigation, the AHS dismissed the employee found to be responsible for the breaches.
The access did not affect patient care or the accuracy of the records.
AHS adds that it's policy is to notify patients affected by a breach via mail, so it is likely that the current job action involving Canada Post could have affected the delivery of the notices.
(With files from Jordan Kanygin)