Medical lab loses thousands of B.C. patient records
Hard drive went missing in January, containing ECG results and patient information
The personal information of about 16,000 patients of a medical lab service in Kamloops has gone missing, says the company's president.
LifeLabs president Sue Paish said Monday a computer was sent to their main office in Burnaby for servicing in January, but when it was returned, the hard drive was missing.
The hard drive held the results of ECGs, or electrocardiograms, gathered at three local facilities between 2007 and 2013.
"There was no financial information whatsoever included in the data, no ability to access any financial records or other financial-related data," said Paish, who admitted the drive did include personal information like the patient's name, address, height, age, gender, the ECG results and health care number.
She said an internal investigation failed to determine who took the drive and where it is now, adding the information is password protected and requires special equipment to read.
The company has implemented measures to minimize the risk of such incidents in the future, including ensuring that all ECG reports and drives are fully encrypted, said Paish.
She also apologized for the incident and said this is the first security breach in the Lifelabs' 50-year history.
Health Minister Terry Lake said he learned of the breach just last week.
"It's unacceptable to take this amount of time to notify the government and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner about a breach like this," he said. "And again they have assured us that will not happen in the future."
Lifelabs has set up a phone line and online contact information for anyone who thinks their information might have been breached:
- Visit the LifeLabs website at: http://www.lifelabs.com/PrivacyBC/
- Write to LifeLabs at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call the LifeLabs dedicated phone-line at: 1-855-306-4900 between the hours 8 am to 8 pm PST, Monday to Friday