2 fired at University of Iowa Hospitals for peeking at records
Clark Kauffman reports:
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has fired a medical assistant for allegedly violating patient privacy by reporting a colleague’s suspected patient-privacy violations.
If you read the details in the Des Moines Register, though, the case seems a bit tricky – the employee did admit to looking over a colleague’s shoulder, but she reported the colleague’s breach of HIPAA protections in a whistleblower situation. So should the hospital have fired her? The hospital has not stated whether the employee whose behavior she reported was ever fired or disciplined.
In an unrelated case, U of I Hospitals also fired Teri Fortmann, a nurse accused of repeatedly accessing patient files without authorization. The hospital became aware of the problem late last year when another employee tried to call up the patient’s file during a medical procedure and couldn’t access it because Fortmann was viewing it. Fortmann told her employer the patient was a friend who wouldn’t object to her review of the files.
Read more in the Des Moines Register.