Michigan nurse was terminated for HIPAA violation, Mercy Health says

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Mercy Health maintains it terminated a nurse at its Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, Mich., for inappropriately viewing medical records of several patients, according to a local ABC affiliate.

The former Mercy Health nurse, Justin Howe, was terminated April 3. Mr. Howe and the Michigan Nurses Association said the health system terminated him after he raised concerns about the hospital's preparedness and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the health system said it terminated Mr. Howe for unnecessarily viewing the EHR charts of several patients who were treated at a different hospital campus within the system, a violation of HIPAA.

Other employees were fired for inappropriate patient records access during Mercy Health's investigation, it said, and the health system's investigation continues.

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