Patient information may have been breached after break-in at shuttered Canadian hospital

Though Ontario, Canada-based Sarnia General Hospital has been vacant and boarded up since 2011, a recent break-in may have breached the privacy of patient records, according to the Sarnia Observer.

Earlier this week, a 30-year-old woman was arrested for breaking and entering the shuttered hospital, which was owned by Sarnia-based Bluewater Health. The woman allegedly stole prescription pads containing patients' names and other potentially identifying information. The number of pads, which are from 1999 to 2006, was not disclosed.

The prescription pads were left in a taxi and turned in to police. "We understand the prescription pads were put into a duffel bad, the duffel bag was left in a taxi and it was immediately turned over to police," said Bluewater Health Communications Chief Julia Oosterman.

Bluewater Health plans to contact potentially affected patients, but believes their information is not in great jeopardy.

"The risk, we believe, is quite, quite minimal," said Ms. Oosterman. "That being said, we're taking it to [the privacy commissioner] to help us determine the risk level and we will proceed as supported through that process."

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