Breach, Data Security

Six employees fired at LA hospital for accessing patient records

Six employees were fired after more than a dozen confidential patient files, including those belonging to at least one celebrity, were accessed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

How many victims? 14, including reality television star Kim Kardashian, according to

What type of personal information? Unknown, but typically medical records contain information that includes names, addresses, patient histories and Social Security numbers.

What happened? Six hospital employees accessed electronic medical data for 14 patients between June 18 and 24.

What was the response? The workers were fired, and their access to Cedars-Sinai medical records have been permanently revoked, even if the employees go on to work at other health care providers. All patients involved were notified of the breach. Law enforcement has been alerted. The hospital is providing more privacy training to physicians and is adding extra safeguards and redundancies to computer security.

Details: Three doctors violated hospital policy by giving their login credentials for medical records to four employees with medical staff privileges, one medical assistant and one unpaid student research assistant. One employee had their own separate username and password, created to assist with billing. Five workers accessed a single patient record and one accessed 14 records.

Quote: The hospital has “a high standard of security” and “unauthorized access to any patient's record is, quite simply, unacceptable,” Cedars-Sinai Chief Privacy Officer David Blake said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Source:, The Los Angeles Times, “Six people fired from Cedars-Sinai over patient privacy breaches,” July 12, 2013.

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