More UCLA Medical Center employees peeked at celebrities' records, state says
Charles Ornstein reports in the LA Times:
The California Department of Public Health also found that nearly twice as many medical center employees as had previously been reported peeked at confidential medical records at UCLA. Nearly 60 additional employees gained improper access to records between January 2004 and June 2006, the report said, bringing the total number of workers implicated in the growing scandal to 127.[…]
In part because of the breaches, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed legislation that would impose penalties on hospitals and healthcare workers for breaching patient privacy.
“Californians have every right to expect their medical records to be safeguarded and protected, and I am alarmed about repeated violations of patient confidentiality and the potential harm to the citizens of this state,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “By putting financial penalties in place for those employees and facilities that do not follow these laws, this legislation will lead to better care for all Californians.”
Under the legislation, being carried by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) and Assemblyman Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), healthcare workers who unlawfully view patient records would be fined from $1,000 to $250,000, depending on the seriousness of the violation. Hospitals and other health facilities would face fines of $25,000 to $250,000 for similar violations.
Full story – LA Times
The Chicago Tribune has a statement from UCLA about the latest report:
“We have no excuses. UCLA should have detected the violations by Ms. Jackson years ago, and should have immediately initiated the process to dismiss her. All other employees who were found to have violated patient confidentiality during our review have been disciplined, including some who have been terminated. On behalf of the entire leadership of the UCLA Health System I am deeply sorry for this failure, and the personal distress these breaches may have caused,” said Dr. David T. Feinberg, CEO, and interim associate vice chancellor UCLA Hospital System.[…]