WA: Everett Clinic fires 13 for snooping

Sharon Salyer reports:

Thirteen employees of The Everett Clinic have been fired for looking at patient medical records they weren’t authorized to see, in violation of federal law.

“That doctor-patient relationship is sacred,” said April Zepeda, The Everett Clinic’s spokeswoman. “That means other people can’t take a peek.”

The investigation into suspected violations of patient privacy is still under way, with the medical record viewing activities of 11 other employees still being checked, said Dr. Al Fisk, The Everett Clinic’s chief medical officer.

Overall, 55 patient records were electronically viewed by 43 employees. It’s still unclear how many of those ultimately may be found to have had legitimate reasons for looking at patient medical records and may be cleared of wrongdoing.

Read more on The Herald Everett.

It’s encouraging to see entities taking snooping seriously and getting the word out that such conduct will not be tolerated.  Of course, we’re still back to how to prevent such conduct more effectively without making it too difficult for the entity to perform its functions, but it seems that auditing and detection are improving.

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