Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Minneapolis, terminated 28 employees at 221-bed Unity Hospital, Fridley, Minn., and four employees at 286-bed Mercy Hospital, Coon Rapids, Minn., for accessing patient records without a legitimate reason, system spokesman David Kanihan said.
The viewings of the records were related to patients who were part of a well-publicized mass drug overdose of teenagers and young adults in Blaine, Minn., which is near the two hospitals, Kanihan said.
Allina conducted a special review of who accessed patient records because of the attention given to the overdose. A prepared statement from 10-hospital Allina said, "We take our obligation to protect patient privacy very seriously. Our actions in this matter are completely consistent with how we have always dealt with these cases. Anything short of a zero-tolerance approach to this issue would be inadequate."
Allina has a plan to mitigate the loss of the employees at Unity, which has about 1,300 workers, Kanihan said. He noted that Unity's employee tally doesn't include a number of system employees who do work for the hospital in areas such as information technology and patient registration.