Exeter (N.H.) Hospital is pushing back against New Hampshire investigators, arguing that the state's request for access to hospital medical records in connection with a criminal investigation is a violation of patient privacy laws.
The hospital received wide attention in July when David Kwiatkowski, a lab technician formerly employed at the hospital, was arrested in connection with a hepatitis C outbreak affecting more than 30 patients.
Authorities allege that Kwiatkowski, who has the disease, stole fentanyl-filled syringes from the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab. They say he injected the drugs and then refilled the dirty syringes with another substance, causing the outbreak.
But in an Aug. 29 news release (PDF), Exeter officials said the state's request for "broad access" to medical records was outside of what the hospital believed to be allowable by law.