Officials at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are stepping up employee training and enforcement on patient privacy in the wake of a discovery that at least eight employees inappropriately accessed the records of a patient in the past month.
One person at the 653-bed hospital in Iowa City was terminated as a result of the discovery, and seven others were given five days unpaid leave. The security breach was discovered as part of a routine review of confidential patient records accessed by hospital staff, hospital spokesman Tom Moore said.
Although the investigation is ongoing, Moore said the breach is believed to have involved only accessing records, not disseminating the information gleaned. Asked whether the incident involved the records of any well-known person, as privacy violations at other hospitals have recently, Moore declined to comment: "We feel it would be inappropriate to provide details about the patient identity. These cases often involve celebrities or perhaps acquaintances."