Canadian Security Magazine

Patient info stolen from Winnipeg hospital

By Staff   

News Health Care health care hospital patients privacy theft

A file containing limited information concerning about 1000 patients is missing from a secure room at a Winnipeg hospital.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is advising patients that a paper billings file went missing from a diagnostic imaging office in October. The file was stored in a locked room at in an area with swipe card access only. Patient information available in the file is limited and the WRHA believes it is unlikely the information could be used for malicious purposes.

“We take our responsibility toward patient privacy very seriously,” said Réal Cloutier, vice-president and chief operating officer of the WRHA. “We are working with an external security company and Winnipeg Police Services to determine what happened and making every effort to recover the file.”

The WRHA has reason to believe the file was taken. It was kept in a secured room and there is no evidence of forced entry into that area.

The billing information was related to diagnostic imaging procedures and could indicate where, on the body, a procedure or scan was done. According to WHRA, information in the file is limited to: patient name, the patient’s date of birth, type of test (e.g. CT scan), exam name (e.g. chest or abdomen biopsy) and information specific to the hospital (reference number for the medical chart, physician information and examination room number).


The WRHA has engaged in two internal investigations, both security and human resources, as well as hiring an external security firm and working with Winnipeg Police Services to review the incident. Since the file was reported missing additional security measures have also been put in place to protect existing files.

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