A laptop with the unencrypted information about 620,000 patients was stolen last September according to Health Minister Fred Horne. But the health department was only made aware of the incident Jan. 21st.
The laptop contained the names, birth dates, health card numbers, billing codes, billing amounts and diagnostic codes for patients who visited medicenters around the province from May 2, 2011 to September 19,2013.
The laptop was stolen on Sept. 26 and reported to the Alberta Privacy Commissioner, Jill Clayton on Oct. 1.
Horne has asked Clayton to conduct a formal investigation under the Health Information Act to determine what occurred and if there were any breaches of privacy legislation.
The laptop belonged to an IT consultant working for the company. There is no evidence any information has been accessed or misused.
All patient information is now encrypted; it is no longer placed on laptops unless necessary and fewer employees and consultants have access to patient data.