WINDSOR, ONT. -- Chatham-Kent Health Alliance says an employee accessed 40 patients’ records without an apparent valid reason.

The privacy breach was noticed during a recent routine audit of patient electronic health records.

CKHA officials say they immediately launched an investigation, discovering the employee inappropriately accessed the records.

“Given the lack of pattern to the employee's access, we determined this is a case of random snooping due to curiosity,” said a news release from the CKHA.

CKHA officials say they can also confirm that the employee did not copy or print the health records that were inappropriately accessed.


"CKHA is committed to patient centred care and preserving patients' trust in the care they are receiving and the staff providing that care," said Lori Marshall, president and CEO of CKHA. "We regret that this privacy breach happened. We will continue the routine auditing of patient electronic health records and look forward to the implementation of a new electronic record system in Fall of 2020 that will automate the auditing capabilities and strengthen CKHA's ability to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patients."


Health officials say employees are bound by professional and legal obligations to respect patient privacy and, in addition, CKHA requires all employees to sign confidentiality agreements.


CKHA reported this privacy breach to the employee's professional college and the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The employee is no longer working for CKHA.


Anyone affected has received a notification letter by mail or will receive one shortly. CKHA is asking affected individuals to contact the privacy officer with any questions they may have.