Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nurse Fired for Snooping on a Friend's Medical Records

The University of Iowa hospital fired a nurse who is accused of accessing patient medical records without authorization on multiple occasions.

The fired nurse told hospital management that the patient was a friend who wouldn't object to the nurse reviewing her medical records. But being a friend of the patient is not a legitimate justification under HIPAA.

The hospital has previously claimed to routinely review staff activity for breaches of patient privacy, but this breach was not discovered by such a review. Rather the discovery was due to an employee who stumbled onto the breach when he could not access a patient's records because the fired nurse was viewing it.
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Previous breaches of patient data privacy at this hospital. Sources:
(a) 2 fired at University of Iowa Hospitals for peeking at records - The DesMoines Register, June 21, 2011
(b) UIHC fires 2 employees for patient-privacy violations - Press-Citizen, June 21, 2011

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