Home care client gets another patient's personal information

Alberta Health Services is investigating a privacy breach after an Edmonton man found someone else's personal information in his health care file
John Grierson was surprised to receive another patient's personal information in his home care report. (CBC)

Alberta Health Services is investigating a privacy breach after an Edmonton home care patient received another person’s health information in his file.

John Grierson regularly gets a health report delivered to his house by CBI Home Health.

Recently, his report contained information that he wasn’t supposed to see — documents with another patient's personal information including their condition, treatment plan and health care number.

"I was quite surprised," Grierson said. "I showed it to my wife who said, ‘That’s a disaster! You should get in touch with somebody about that.’"

So Grierson contacted CBI Home Health and Alberta Health Services, which have since launched their own investigations.

Human error likely to blame

Grierson finds the privacy breach worrying.

"If they can do this with my care records, can they do this with somebody else's?" Grierson asked. "What else are they going to lose?"

Rachel Hayward from the Privacy Commissioner’s Office can’t comment on this specific case but says mistakes like this are usually caused by human error.

"People moving papers quickly and papers getting attached from more than one file or  more than one individual," she said.

AHS is also contacting the person whose records were sent to Grierson to see if that individual also received someone else’s health information.