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Charges laid against Alberta health worker after breach of patient information

Alberta Children's Hospital
Charges have been laid against an Alberta health worker for breach of patient information. Global News

CALGARY – Twenty-six charges have been laid against a worker at the Alberta Children’s Hospital after an investigation by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Alberta Justice identified the former employee as Judy Anderson; she is accused of accessing private health information in breach of the Health Information Act (HIA).

READ MORE: 247 patient records breached by AHS employee

Anderson has not been working for the hospital since the breach of information was discovered during a regular audit of AHS patient databases in 2014.

In October 2014, Alberta Health Services sent out a news release saying an employee in Calgary had inappropriately accessed the personal health information of 240 people.

Health Services CEO Vicki Kaminski said at the time that the staff member at Alberta Children’s Hospital looked at files belonging to children, adults, physicians, nurses and high-profile people in the community.

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Kaminski said the employee had no reason to look at the files and there’s no indication the person did anything with them. She said the affected individuals were contacted.

The files were not restricted to the children’s hospital as the employee, whom Kaminski described as a “lower-level” secretary or clerk, had access to other health data bases in the province.

“There was no reason for them to get information on the 240 patients they were looking at,” Kaminski said at the time. “They didn’t have to pass that on to anybody. We have no idea what they were going to do with it.”

The maximum penalty for each of the offences is $50,000.

This is the sixth time charges have been laid for breach of the HIA.

Anderson is due in provincial court Jan. 5.

With files from Global’s Heather Yourex-West and The Canadian Press