More Snooping Into UCLA Medical Records

The Associated Press is reporting that California first lady Maria Shriver is among 32 celebrity patients who had their confidential medical records accessed by unauthorized personnel at UCLA Medical Center. According to their report, the same employee who breached actress Farrah Fawcett’s records also breached the privacy of other high-profile or celebrity patients by snooping through their files, too.

UCLA says that it fired the employee in May 2007 after it learned of the breaches.

The AP story also indicates that California’s Health and Human Services Agency is still determining what action to take against the facility.

The Daily Bruin of UCLA has more on the issue of employee snooping at UCLA.  Here’s part of the problem:

I spoke with an undergraduate volunteer employee in patient affairs at the UCLA Medical Center who has been working there for just over a year. She said she has often been tempted to look up names of people purely out of curiosity, such as when a colleague was booked for surgery.

“I would never go hunt in the dark and break into somebody’s office to find stuff out. … Sometimes if you see a last name that looks familiar, it’s tempting to do a bit more digging just to see if it’s someone you know,” she said.

A group of her coworkers attempted to look up Britney Spears’ medical file the morning the pop singer was booked.

“Some of the employees started asking what room she was in. We all share the same user names and passwords when we’re sitting in the office, and someone just sat down and typed her name into search,” said the undergraduate, who was never disciplined for the action.

Read more on The Daily Bruin.

No differentiated levels of access and shared login/password?  No wonder there are problems.

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