12/17/2013 01:48 EST | Updated 02/16/2014 05:59 EST

Pharmacist's Facebook request broke Alberta's health rules

A Calgary pharmacist shouldn’t have dug into a woman's health information for “matchmaking” purposes, according to Alberta's privacy commissioner.

A casual employee at a pharmacy inside a southeast Calgary Shoppers Drug Mart contravened the province’s Health Information Act last year when he phoned and tried to Facebook "friend" a woman who had filed a prescription, said Jill Clayton.

“Employers have a responsibility to inform and train their staff on the appropriate use of health information,” she said in a press release on Tuesday. “Health information systems are for health care, not matchmaking.”   

The act prevents employees from using health information for reasons not related to their jobs and it holds the pharmacy responsible if staff misuse such information.

“The investigation found that the pharmacist misused health information and the pharmacy manager failed to implement reasonable safeguards to protect confidentiality, including providing privacy and security training to the pharmacist,” the release said.

Clayton is recommending that Amani Pharmacy review and follow Shoppers Drug Mart policies and training, as well as to improve the drug store’s technical safeguards to protect health information.

The pharmacist no longer works there, according to a report released on the issue.