Editorial: Allina's harsh but justified firings

Electronic medical record
Electronic medical record

[Star Tribune, May 14, 2011] The recent round of firings at two Twin Cities hospitals offers up new evidence that health record snooping victims aren't all VIPs. There wasn't one famous person among the dozen young Twin Cities residents who developed dangerous reactions to a synthetic drug taken at a Blaine party back in March; a 19-year-old Coon Rapids man died.

Yet an Allina investigation found that a shocking number of staffers at nearby Unity Hospital in Fridley and Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids inappropriately accessed these young people's medical records. Allina wound up terminating 32 people for not only accessing these records, but in some cases going deep into the file to see notes and other details.

"We were devastated that we had to lose these 32 people,'' said Allina spokesman David Kanihan. "Many of these people were really good employees. We didn't want to have to do this. However, patient privacy comes first.'' Read the full Star Tribune editorial at startribune.com.

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