Fired hospital employee charged with snooping

Alberta Childrens HospCALGARY – A former administrative assistant at Alberta Children’s Hospital was charged recently with 26 counts under the province’s Health Information Act after an investigation by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The Calgary Herald reported that Judy Anderson, 64, is scheduled to appear in provincial court on Jan. 5. The province’s health authority has said a regular audit of a patient database in April 2014 red-flagged what appeared to be inappropriate access to private information.

After conducting an internal investigation, Alberta Health Services notified the privacy commissioner of the breach in mid-June of that year. But the worker continued to poke around in the database for another two months, AHS officials said.

The health authority initially said the employee had looked through the records for 14 months, but subsequent figures suggest the problem continued for much longer – 20 months – before it was halted.

AHS officials said the worker was fired for the breach. The database contained patient histories, dates of birth, names of relatives and contact information. The maximum penalty for each offence is $50,000.

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