UCLA Medical Center is taking steps to fire at least 13 employees and has already suspended at least six others for snooping in the confidential medical records of troubled singer Britney Spears during her recent hospitalization.
In addition, six physicians at the California facility face discipline for peeking at her computerized records, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Officials acknowledged that it was not the first time UCLA had disciplined its own workers for looking at Britney Spears' medical records.
Several were caught prying into records after Spears gave birth to her first son, Sean Preston, in September 2005 at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. Some of those involved were fired.
"It's not only surprising, it is very frustrating and very disappointing," Jeri Simpson, the Santa Monica hospital's director of human resources, said.
Security guards stand outside UCLA Medical Center January 31, after Britney Spears had been admitted for treatment of her bipolar disorder.
"I feel like we do everything that we possibly can to ensure the privacy of our patients and I know we feel horrible that it happened again."
Simpson, who handled the discipline in the first case, said UCLA treats celebrities "all the time and you never hear about this ... I don't know what it is about this particular person, I don't know what it is about [Britney Spears]."
Hoping to prevent this, UCLA officials sent a memo the morning Britney Spears was hospitalized on January 31, reminding employees that they were not allowed to peruse medical records unless directly caring for a patient.
Britney Spears was not specifically mentioned.
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