A New Hampshire judge says a hospital tied to a hepatitis C outbreak must grant public health officials broad access to patient records.
Exeter Hospital had argued it would be violating state and federal law if it provided unfettered access to its records system. But a Merrimack County Superior Court judge on Thursday sided with the state.
The hospital says the judge's decision "provides important guidance" allowing it to fulfill its obligations to the state's investigation and its patients.
A former worker has been charged with stealing drugs from the hospital's cardiac catheterization unit and replacing them with tainted syringes later used on patients. Thirty-two patients have been found to have the strain of the liver-destroying virus the worker carries.