Britney Spears Medical Records Breached: Heads Rolling at UCLA
There is apparently a shake up underway at UCLA Medical Center. The facility is in the process of firing 13 employees and sanctioning 6 others with suspension. The group includes nurses and doctor's who violated privacy laws by accessing Britney Spears' medical records.
The medical facility warned it's employees that unauthorized access to the pop stars medical records was forbidden, except by those who were directly involved in her care and treatment. Records at the hospital that were breached included details of her hospital stays when her children were born as well as her most recent psychiatric hospitalization.
Jeri Simpson, Santa Monica hospital's director of human resources, who previously fired employees for breaching Spears' records said:
"It's not only surprising, it's very frustrating and it's very disappointing. 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. I don't know what it is about this particular person, I don't know what it is about her."
Trying to be proactive during Spears most recent stay at their facility, UCLA Medical Center sent out memos on the morning of January 31, 2008, warning employees that Britney Spears records were off limits to prying eyes. Apparently that was a red flag for at least 19 employees who violated the law despite a very specific warning.
According to the Los Angeles Times, such prying is also considered a violation of state and federal laws governing medical privacy. The laws allow for fines of up to $250,000, although such penalties are uncommon. Under different laws, separate fines are allowed if patients are receiving treatment for mental illness or substance abuse.
The state Department of Public Health said late Friday that it had opened an investigation of the hospital.