EXCLUSIVE: Dozens Of Northwestern Hospital Workers May Have Been Fired For

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Yep, violating HIPAA and hospital policy. Health System EMRs don’t alert on scrolling past a name.


I worked on a records management system for a pharmaceutical company that was selling it to medical centers. Every action someone made in it was logged, and all actions had to be done under someone’s login. Finding all people in contact with certain records would take less than a minute.

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I expect there is more to the story than just looking at the file. Likely someone leaked info


Maybe, but accessing the patient record without need or reason is a violation.

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I just completed some HIPPA training and am pretty sure you can talk to other qualified staff but can’t share it or let others overhear the conversation. If some discussion was just kept between the staff I don’t think there would be firing, though they may have violated the rules.

A firing is more likely connected with theft of PHI for personal gain or use of PHI with intent to cause harm, violations for which there are criminal penalties.

It’s very probable the Enquirer or some other newspaper was hunting for a story.

I was curious about the topic and found a nursing article. While you shouldn’t even read a chart for someone not under your care, most firings occur after confidential info is shared on facebook, twitter etc.


Only if you have a need to know. If you are not caring for a patient in some way there is no reason to access the record. Need to know does extend to insurance, financial and legal necessities. Apart from leaking information, problems occur when access is obtained out of curiosity or a person of some fame is hospitalized.

I must say, however, I haven’t seen summary terminations without a through vetting.

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