Records Snoops Fired at Tucson Hospital

University Medical Center Treating Rep. Giffords
Records Snoops Fired at Tucson Hospital
The hospital that is treating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and other victims of the Jan. 8 shooting incident in Tucson, Ariz., has fired three staff members for inappropriately accessing confidential medical records. A contracted nurse also was terminated by the nurse's employer for the privacy violation.

A spokesman for University Medical Center in Tucson said the hospital will not discuss whose records the staff members and the contracted nurse viewed. But the announcement of the action was posted prominently on a section of the medical center's website labeled "incident command site" that's devoted to coverage of treatment of Giffords and other shooting victims.

"We are not aware of any confidential patient information being released publicly," the hospital said in its statement. "The families of all patients whose information was accessed have been notified. Any potential breaches of patient privacy by UMC staff will be investigated and appropriately addressed."

The statement also noted: "With advances in technology, ensuring patient privacy has become the focus of hospitals nationwide. UMC uses sophisticated technology to help prevent and detect inappropriate access to patient information."

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Howard J. Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 34 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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