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247 patient records breached by AHS employee

CALGARY-Alberta Health Services is in the process of notifying patients and families after private personal health information for dozens of patients was accessed by an employee at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

The breach of information was discovered during a regular audit of AHS patient databases.

According to AHS, the Alberta Children’s Hospital staff member was accessing patient records on two databases, Netcare and Clinibase.

The employee may have accessed patient history, contact information, date of birth, names of relatives and emergency contact information.

According to AHS, all staff members are required to act in accordance with Alberta’s privacy legislation and AHS information management and technology policies.

Staff members are trained on protecting patients’ privacy and signing confidentiality and user agreements.

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Alberta’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been notified and is now conducting its own investigation.

Brian Hamilton with the Privacy Commissioner’s office says that these types of investigations can lead to offense charges under the Health Information Act.

If charged, the employee could face a fine of up to $50,000.

AHS Privacy is now working with staff members at the Alberta Children’s Hospital to contact all the individuals whose information was accessed.

The staff member accused of accessing the patient information is no longer working with Alberta Health Services.

Any patients that are concerned about the possible breach of information can contact 1-855-550-2555.