Canadian hospital fires employee for 'snooping' on family members' medical records

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A Canadian hospital fired an employee after she was caught inappropriately accessing patient medical records, according to an audit and investigation by the Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, a healthcare provider based in the province Saskatchewan, discovered one of its employees had "snooped" into the medical records of 14 patients, including several of her family members and herself, when it conducted its internal audit June 14, according to the investigation.

The employee, who was not named in the government investigation, had already been disciplined with a five-day suspension for similar behavior in May. At the time, she had inappropriately viewed information on two patients in the hospital's pharmaceutical information program.

Parkland took the appropriate steps to contain the breach and is not at fault, according to Ronald J. Kruzeniski, the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner. Mr. Kruzeniski determined the root cause of the incident was the employee intentionally breaching privacy.

A Parkland official told Becker's that "incidents such as this are an important example for employees, physicians and volunteers to ensure that they are only accessing information when required to do their work."

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