Calgary

Health records of 178 Albertans accessed inappropriately by ex-AHS employee, province says

Provincial health officials have sent letters to 178 Albertans to warn them that their private health information was inappropriately accessed earlier this year at a Calgary diagnostic centre.

Patients notified that their information was accessed at Calgary’s Richmond Road facility

Alberta Health Services says the private information of 178 Albertans was inappropriately accessed by a former AHS administrative employee. (David Bajer/CBC)

Provincial health officials have sent letters to 178 Albertans to warn them that their private health information was inappropriately accessed earlier this year.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) delivered the letters this week after an investigation revealed that an administrative employee made multiple inappropriate accesses to diagnostic, treatment and care information at Calgary's Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre through the Netcare system, which manages referrals, wait lists and admissions of patients.

The employee is no longer with the organization, AHS said in a release.

"This privacy breach is unacceptable and disappointing, especially given the extensive work AHS has done over the past several years to build awareness and understanding among staff of the importance of appropriately collecting, using, disclosing and protecting their health information," said AHS vice-president Todd Gilchrist.

"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."

The inappropriate access incidents did not impact patient care or the accuracy of patient records, AHS says.

AHS first discovered the inappropriate access incidents through a routine audit of Netcare by Alberta Health.