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Two hard drives containing patient information stolen at Red Deer Hospital

Two hard drives containing patient information stolen at Red Deer Hospital
  • The hard drives were stolen from two diagnostic tools, an electromyogram (EMG) and an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine.
  • However, only the hard drive in the EMG machine contained patient information.

What is the issue?

Two hard drives contained in equipment in the rehabilitation department at Red Deer Hospital have been stolen.

The big picture

Alberta Health Services, which manages the operations at Red Deer Hospital, is notifying 6,129 patients that their health information might have been viewed following the hard drive theft.

  • The hard drives were stolen from two diagnostic tools, an electromyogram (EMG) and an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine.
  • The EMG is used for nerve conduction to help determine neuromuscular disorders, while the EEG is used to determine sleep disorders and epilepsy.
  • However, only the hard drive in the EMG machine contained patient information.
  • The information contained in the hard drive is password protected but unencrypted.

What was the immediate action taken?

  • Upon learning the incident, the health care center notified the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta about the incident.
  • AHS Privacy and Red Deer RCMP conducted an investigation about the incident.
  • AHS is currently reviewing the security in the hospital to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

“Alberta Health Services says it takes the privacy and confidentiality of patient information seriously and has stringent policies in place, including policies pertaining to the electronic storage of patient records,” Red Deer Advocate reported.

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