Snooping nurse compromises 1.3k Palomar Health patients' data

Escondido, Calif.-based Palomar Health is notifying 1,309 patients who visited the hospital between Feb. 10, 2016, and May 7, 2017, that an emergency department nurse accessed their health records without a medical reason to do so, a hospital spokesman confirmed to Becker's Hospital Review.

The nurse is no longer employed at Palomar. However, during her employment, she was authorized to register patients and view patient records necessary to provide care.

The health information the nurse accessed included patients' first and last names, dates of birth, genders, medical record numbers, reasons for visit, treatment locations, medications and allergies. No health insurance information or financial data — such as Social Security or driver’s license numbers — were accessed, except in the case of four patients. 

The medical information was not transferred or viewed outside of Palomar's EMR, and the hospital has not received any reports of patient information being compromised.

Palomar's information security department is planning to implement an additional alert function to its existing electronic monitoring system by the end of the month. The hospital is also enacting additional awareness and training for its employees.

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