Red Deer AHS employee fined $8,000, given probation for accessing health records of 81 people 471 times

RED DEER – A former billing clerk with Alberta Health Services (AHS) was fined $8,000 and sentenced to one year of probation with conditions after pleading guilty Sept. 30, 2019, in Red Deer Provincial Court to knowingly accessing health information in contravention of the Health Information Act (HIA).

Amarish Tripathi admitted to improperly accessing the health records of 81 individuals on 471 occasions. The unauthorized accesses occurred at the Michener Centre in Red Deer where he had been employed. The conditions of his probation include attending treatment and counselling as directed and not be employed in a position that gives him access to health information for one year.

READ MORE: 30 staff members illegally accessed 2,158 patient records at Red Deer hospital

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) opened an offence investigation into Tripathi’s unauthorized accesses of health information after AHS reported the breaches in May 2018. Upon conclusion of its investigation, the OIPC referred findings to the Specialized Prosecutions Branch of Alberta Justice. Charges were laid in June 2019.

It is an offence under HIA to knowingly gain or attempt to gain access to health information in contravention of the Act (section 107(2)(b)). This was the fourth such conviction in 2019.

There have been 13 convictions in total for unauthorized access to health information under HIA since 2001. This was the second case in which one of the conditions was for the convicted not to access health information for one year.

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