Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Updated: Theft of patient information ‘highly uncommon,’ says AHS

Review of hospital security underway

A break-in, like the one that resulted in the theft of two hard drives in April from Red Deer’s hospital, is a “highly uncommon occurrence,” says Alberta Health Services.

AHS recently started notifying 6,129 patients that their health information may have been viewed by someone other than their authorized care providers.

An update from AHS said the break-in and theft in the hospital’s rehabilitation department was discovered in the overnight hours of April 29. An investigation into the theft, and extent of information taken, was launched immediately.

The hard drives were taken from an electromyogram (EMG) and an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine. Both are diagnostic tools utilized by clinicians.

Only the hard drive in the EMG machine contained patient information. Investigators believe the likelihood of the health information contained on the EMG hard drive – which was password protected, but unencrypted – being used or misused is extremely low.

“The investigation into what patient information may have been accessible has been completed by AHS. As our RCMP partners continue to investigate the theft for potential suspects, and to protect the confidentiality of any patients impacted, AHS will not be releasing further details about this incident at this time,” said AHS in a statement.

A review of security in the hospital is underway to identify possible enhancements.

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