South Carolina hospital investigating patient record mishandling

Conway (S.C.) Medical Center is conducting an internal investigation regarding accusations of mishandling of confidential patient health data, The Sun News reported April 18.

The accusations stem from a lawsuit, filed by a former registered nurse at Conway, who alleges that her supervisor at the hospital, Terri Pickens, inappropriately accessed her patient record.

According to the suit, the former nurse, going by Jane Doe, had requested an audit trail of her electronic health records to verify that no unauthorized access had occurred. In 2018, Burt Haas, the hospital's director of health information management, provided an audit trail report which indicated no improper access. However, when she requested another audit trail report in 2023, it revealed thousands of data entry points from late 2017 that were absent from the initial report she received.

The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Haas altered internal data to conceal this misconduct.

Conway Medical Center told the news outlet that it could not comment on the litigation but that it is launching an investigation into the incident. 

"We have strict policies and procedures in place to uphold federal HIPAA laws and to ensure the security of our patients' protected health information," a spokesperson for Conway Medical told the news outlet in a statement.

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