Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nurse Fired for Unauthorized Access to 108 Patient Records

“Unfortunately, a nurse accessed information on patients for whom she had no clinical responsibility,” explained an administrator at a hospital in Mount Pleasant, Texas.

When the nurse's actions were discovered she was immediately suspended and later terminated. Her case was then sent to the Texas Board of Nursing.

108 former patients have received a letter from informing them that their private medical records, including diagnosis and treatment notes, had been inappropriately accessed.
"The nurse said she was just ‘curious’ and looked at records she was not authorized to view. She has sworn that she did not do anything with that information."
While hospital staff can typically access any patient's records, under HIPAA they are authorized to access only the medical records of patients currently under their care.

"The hospital takes a very serious stance in our role of safeguarding patient’s personal information and using it in an appropriate manner. We have revised our audit procedures to minimize the risk of breaches of this nature.” - Hospital Privacy Officer
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy like this one - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Nurse terminated for unauthorized viewing of TRMC patient records - Daily Tribune 1/18/2012

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