Union fights suspensions for workers viewing star's records

A union representing hospital employees accused of improperly viewing television and movie actor George's Clooney's medical records says the Palisades Medical Center executives have come down too hard on the employees. Clooney and a companion were recently treated at Palisades after a motorcycle they were riding crashed, and apparently, their records were too great a temptation for dozens of staff members there. Hospital executives say they caught snooping employees as part of a routine self-audit of records use.

The Health Professionals Allied Employees Union (HPAE) is protesting the month-long suspensions handed out to 27 of the hospital's 1,200 employees, each of which were cited for looking at Clooney's medical records in violation of HIPAA. (Some physicians were named in the controversy, as well, but none have had their privileges suspended or been otherwise sanctioned as far as your editor knows.) 

The HPAE is arguing that the suspensions are unduly harsh, and that execs with the North Bergen, N.J. overreacted due to the fame of the patient involved in the incident. Union leaders say they'd like a chance to review evidence involved.

To learn more about the controversy:
- read this article from The Jersey Journal

Related Articles:
Park Nicollet suspends employees for EMR snooping. Report
Over-applying and misapplying HIPAA is common. Report
Leavitt adds teeth to HIPAA enforcement. Report
HIPAA violations not drawing fines. Report
Few HIPAA complaints pursued. Report

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