Thursday, November 23, 2006

Charges laid under Alberta's Health Information Act

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has announced that the first charges ever have been laid under the Helath Information Act. The charges relate to improper access to health information and misleading the OIPC's investigator. From the OIPC's media release:

Charges laid under Health Information Act:

November 23, 2006

Four charges have been laid against an individual under the Health Information Act. She has been summoned to appear in Calgary Court on January 15, 2007. This is the first time charges have been laid under provisions of the Health Information Act.

As a result of a complaint to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner an investigation was undertaken. Upon completion of the investigation, the matter was referred to the Regulatory Prosecutions Office of Alberta Justice. Following that consultation, two charges were laid for improperly accessing another individual's health information and two charges were laid for misleading the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner's investigator.

The maximum penalty for a first offence under the Health Information Act is $50,000 for each charge.

Alberta's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Frank Work, says, 'These are serious allegations, and they are not to be taken lightly. As we move increasingly to electronic health records, the security of Albertan's health information remains paramount. We will do everything in our power to help protect this information'.

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