Vernon pediatric clinic hacked

Historical patient billing information may have been accessed

Patients of a North Okanagan facility are being alerted of a privacy breach.

The North Okanagan Pediatric Clinic was subject to a remote hacking attempt in late May 2020.

“While patient medical charts and records, which are maintained in paper form only, were unaffected, historical patient profile information could theoretically have been accessed by the attacker during the period they had access to the local system,” Dr. Michael Cooke said.

Past patients are warned that information in these files could include scheduling and billing information, such as demographic information, personal health number and billing codes.

Cooke said there is no evidence patient information was accessed, rather it appears the attacker was focused on encrypting system files for ransom.

However, due to the sensitive nature of health information, the North Okanagan Pediatric Clinic is taking steps to notify all current and former patients of the potential privacy breach, including contacting current patients directly.

RCMP and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C. have also been notified of the hacking attempt.

“We encourage you to contact your financial institution to place a note on your account in case unauthorized individuals attempt to access your account fraudulently,” the clinic states. “We also recommend that you contact both credit bureaus in Canada to request a free copy of your most recent credit report.”

For more information, contact the clinic at 250-558-5506 or the Privacy Commissioner office at 250-387-5629.

The clinic is located in the North Okanagan Neurological Association child development centre.

READ MORE: CAO biggest Lake Country spender and earner

READ MORE: CRA resumes online services with new features after cyberattacks


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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