Ca: Adding injury to pain: patients' data on stolen drive (update2)

Lacombe police are investigating after a portable hard drive device was stolen from a medical clinic.

The hard drive contained back up copies of Alberta Health Services’ Central Alberta Pain & Rehabilitation Institute client records.

The device was the property of the Dr. Burnham & Associates Medical Clinic.

Read more on The Lacombe Globe also covers the theft but does not add any details as to what kinds of data were on the stolen device.

Update: AHS has posted a news release on its site:

AHS program records impacted by private clinic break and enter
May 20, 2011

LACOMBE – The Dr. R. Burnham & Associates Medical Clinic in Lacombe has informed Alberta Health Services that a portable hard drive recently stolen from this clinic contained backup copies of Alberta Health Services’ Central Alberta Pain & Rehabilitation Institute (CAPRI) client records. The CAPRI program is co-located in the Dr. Burnham clinic.

Although there is no indication that data stored on this portable hard drive data has been accessed at this time, AHS is reminding CAPRI clients to be vigilant about their personal information following this theft.

Lacombe Police are investigating this break and enter. No hard copies of patient files were taken. This theft does not impact patient care.

The stolen hard drive – which was private property of the Dr. Burnham clinic, and not an AHS device – was password protected, but not encrypted. The password protection makes unauthorized access to information difficult to obtain; however, it is always advisable to remain alert to any unusual activity that may indicate personal information has been accessed or used. If you have concerns that your information has been accessed or used inappropriately, contact the Lacombe Police Service at 1-403-782-3279 and reference file number 2011-517249.

In addition to informing Alberta Health Services, Dr. Burnham’s clinic has also informed the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of this theft, and is working collaboratively to ensure all clinic patients are aware of this incident.

Current and former CAPRI program clients can contact the clinic with any questions or concerns, Mondays through Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., toll-free, at 1-877-323-7116.

Lacombe Police asks that anyone with information pertaining to this theft please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.7 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Okay, but how about telling us what kinds of data were on the stolen drive – and exactly when it was stolen? And oh yes, how many patients were affected? I know, I know, this is Canada and there’s no mandatory notification of the kind I always like to see, but I can still ask….

Update 2: Okay, here we go, thanks to Pamela DiPinto the Edmonton Journal:

A portable hard drive containing backup copies of 1,000 Alberta Health Services’ Central Alberta Pain and Rehabilitation Institute client records was stolen recently from a clinic in Lacombe, the AHS revealed Friday. An unconfirmed number of non-AHS patients at the Lacombe clinic are also affected by the breach.

The stolen hard drive — containing clients’ names, birth dates, addresses, health care numbers and prescription information — was stolen from the Dr. R. Burnham and Associates Medical Clinic in Lacombe between closing Friday, May 6, and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 8, said AHS chief privacy officer Mike Tolfree.

Wayne Wood, information and privacy commissioner spokesperson, said their office was notified of the theft on May 16 and an investigation was launched. The Lacombe Police Service is also investigating the break and enter.


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