Workers Fired at UCLA Medical Center for Snooping on Britney

britney spearsWorkers ignored written warning not to snoop

By Matthew B. Zeidman for Hollywood Today

 LOS ANGELES (RUSHPRNEWS) 3/17/08 – Workers at UCLA Medical Center have learned a valuable lesson about patient privacy.  According to the “Los Angeles Times,” the hospital intends to fire at least 13 and suspend at least six for unauthorized access to Britney Spears’ medical records.

Spears was admitted to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation on Jan. 31 and released on Feb. 6.  During that time, several hospital employees not directly involved in Spears’ care (some of whom were doctors) attempted to view her medical records electronically in direct violation of state and federal law, according to the newspaper.  Because of strict access controls, only information related to the 26-year-old pop star’s 2005 visit to a Santa Monica, Calif. sister facility to give birth to her first son was viewable by those not specifically authorized to access her files.  The California Department of Public Health has pledged to look into the matter.

Anticipating staff curiosity, the hospital had released a memo the day Spears was admitted, reminding employees that only those directly involved in a patient’s care or billing should attempt to access that patient’s medical records.  In addition, it is hospital policy that all workers sign a confidentiality agreement before starting work at the facility.

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