Privacy Policy

Notice to Strathcona County residents – Primary care network cyber attack

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, the Sherwood Park – Strathcona County Primary Care Network (PCN) experienced an intrusion of its computer systems.  The intrusion was contained by the PCN's privacy breach protocol but still resulted in the encryption of approximately 25,000 data files containing business, employee and patient information.  The PCN has taken the matter very seriously and conducted a full investigation into the events leading up to the intrusion.  Although the intrusion resulted in temporary loss of control of employee and patient information, no personally identifiable employee or patient health or financial information was disclosed or stolen.

The malware which penetrated the PCN's computer systems is known as Locky, which encrypts files so that they are unavailable to the owner unless a ransom is paid.  In consultation with the RCMP, the PCN opted to pay the ransom to regain control of the files.  The malware is not known to disclose or broadcast data to an unauthorized recipient.  Although the PCN is confident that there was no breach of employee or patient identifying information, the PCN wishes to advise its employees and patients of the event.  

PCN patients are residents of Strathcona County who have been referred by their family physician for additional care for problems such as diabetes, weight management, depression, anxiety, or various specialist consultations.  The PCN has taken appropriate steps to address any risk of harm to patients and employees.  The PCN is confident no harm will come to patients as a result of the intrusion, however, the PCN wishes to advise residents to monitor their financial and health information for identity theft.  Although the possibility of identity theft arising from this event is low, residents may wish to consider replacing their Alberta Health Care card as well as address any potential fraud concerns.  The PCN also advises residents that they may lodge a complaint about the event with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (  Residents with a concern regarding this intrusion are invited to contact the PCN's privacy officer and custodian by emailing the PCN at​​


Notice of Collection of Personal Health Information

When you receive health services of any kind from this Primary Care Network (PCN), we collect individually identifying health information from you (your name, date of birth, Alberta Health Care number, etc.) and share this within the PCN (staff) and with other health service providers that need the information to provide you with health services (e.​g. for blood tests or referral to another specialty).

The personal health information that you provide us is collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the provision of the Health Information Act (HIA), and is primarily used​ to provide diagnostic, treatment and care services to you (HIA s 27(1)(a)), and to bill the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for services provided (HIA s 27(1)(b)(g)). The privacy provisions of the legislation require that we protect your health information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure or destruction. 

Sherwood Park Primary Care Network will routinely provide your referring or family physician with updates on your care and treatment (HIA s 27(1)(a)).

At the Primary Care Network, we use an automated appointment reminder services. You may receive a phone call two days prior to your appointment. You will have the opportunity to confirm your appointment or to cancel your appointment. Please make sure that you have provided your preferred contact phone number with us. You may request not to receive reminder phone calls.

Website Privacy Statement

The Sherwood Park Primary Care Network does not provide personal information to unrelated third parties for any reason, unless legally compelled (as stated ​in paragraph 5 of “Primary Care Network Website Account Holders”).

Should users of this site respond directly to the Sherwood Park Primary Care Network with any information including comments, questions, suggestions, ideas relating to the web site or the Sherwood Park Primary Care Network products and services, then they agree that such information shall be deemed as non-confidential. The Sherwood Park Primary Care Network shall be free to use such information under no obligation to respond and be free to reproduce, and use without limitation or liability.

The Sherwood Park Primary Care Network is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites linked within our website. You are encouraged to read the privacy statements in those sites.

Please be aware there is some risk involved in transmitting information over the Internet regardless of our efforts.​

If you have a Primary Care Network website account, your account information will be used to manage website user accounts and for website communications. Website administrators at PCN PMO and Sherwood Park PCN will have access to the list of user accounts on the Sherwood Park PCN website (names and e-mail addresses).

The Sherwood Park PCN uses "cookies" (small text files) for the security functionality on this website. Your browser settings must be configured to allow cookies if you wish to access the member-only pages of the Sherwood Park PCN website.
When you login to access Sherwood Park PCN -protected web pages, the web server creates a new cookie in your local temporary internet files on your hard drive. This cookie contains your login information to allow access to your personal profile. It also allows you appropriate access to the Sherwood Park PCN website and components thereof.

The cookie cannot be executed as code nor deliver viruses, and is valid only until you close the browser or you use the logout feature.

The Sherwood Park PCN collects information about and tracks website use. Google Analytics is used to help analyze how users use the site. Google Analytics also uses cookies to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including IP address) is transmitted to Google. This information is then used to evaluate visitors' use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity, which gives Sherwood Park PCN the opportunity to identify problems and improve service.

The Sherwood Park PCN will not use the statistical analytics tool to track or to collect any personally identifiable information of visitors to our site. For further information, refer to the Google Analytics privacy policy ( The Sherwood Park PCN will not link, or seek to link, an IP address with the identity of a computer user. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifiable information from any source, unless you explicitly submit that information using a form on our website.

This privacy statement applies only to the Sherwood Park website and to components of the website. The Sherwood Park PCN is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites linked to from our website. You are encouraged to read the privacy statements on those sites.​