Sutter Health employees fired after inappropriately accessing medical records

Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health reportedly fired two employees after they allegedly inappropriately accessed medical records, according to CBS13 Sacramento.

An undisclosed source told CBS13 Sacramento the employees were terminated for looking into the medical records of Joseph DeAngelo, who police suspect to be the Golden State Killer, according to the report.

A Sutter Health spokesperson did not confirm to CBS13 Sacramento the identities of the terminated employees or whose medical records had been accessed. However, the spokesperson did confirm the health system's privacy monitoring technology had detected inappropriate access, and confirmed some employees had been fired.

Liz Madison, a spokesperson for Sutter Health, told Becker's Hospital Review in a statement June 14, "At Sutter Health, we take the safety of our patients’ information very seriously. We have made significant investments over the past several years to protect our patients’ information including putting sophisticated monitoring tools in place to identify inappropriate accesses to medical records.While I cannot confirm specific patient identities, I can confirm that our privacy auditing and monitoring technology recently detected inappropriate access, and the individuals involved are no longer employed by Sutter Health."

"Following their termination, we reminded all employees of our zero tolerance policy and our shared responsibility to protect the safety of our patients, which includes only accessing patient information with a legitimate business reason. We spend many hours training our workforce on the importance of privacy and information security including inappropriate access. We value our patients trust, and any other access is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Additionally, we are in the process of notifying the affected patients and regulators. Protecting the safety of our patients, which includes protecting the security of their information, is an essential part of delivering on our mission to provide exceptional, personalized and compassionate care."

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