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Nebraska Med Center Fires Two Employees for Violating Ebola Patient’s Privacy

September 30, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha has fired two workers accused of violating an Ebola patient’s privacy by looking at his medical file, according to various news outlets.

In a written statement, the medical center said an audit of the hospital's electronic medical records (EMRs) led to the discovery that two employees had inappropriately accessed Dr. Rick Sacra's file. “During an audit of our electronic medical records, we discovered that two med center employees inappropriately accessed the record of Ebola patient Dr. Rick Sacra. This is a violation of HIPAA regulations and an issue we take very seriously. Based on the results of the investigation conducted, two employees no longer work for the organization and other corrective action has been taken,” the statement read, according to a report from WOWT Omaha.

In accordance with HIPAA regulations, the hospital informed Dr. Sacra of the data breach before he was released. “While this is extremely uncommon, we have a zero tolerance for unauthorized access to patient information,” the medical center said.

Sacra contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in West Africa. He works for SIM, an international mission group that responds to areas of need worldwide. After being treated for the Ebola virus over the last three weeks, Sacra was recently sent home virus-free.

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