L.A. hospital may fire staff over Spears

Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:12pm EDT
 
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The hospital where pop star Britney Spears was hospitalized in late January for psychiatric evaluation has suspended some employees and may fire others for looking at the singer's medical records, a source familiar the situation said on Friday.

The UCLA Medical Center, where Spears was under observation, issued a statement saying that all staff must sign confidentiality agreements and the hospital has "stringent policies to protect patient" privacy.

"When possible confidentiality breaches arise, UCLA immediately launches a1n investigation and appropriate disciplinary action would then be initiated," said the statement. "Due to the confidential nature of both patient and personnel issues, no further information is available."

The Los Angeles Times on Friday said UCLA has taken measures to fire at least 13 employees, discipline as many as six more and could take action against six doctors for accessing computers to search through Spears' medical records.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, did not know the number of employees affected but said the Times story appeared to be accurate.

The Times cited an organizer for a hospital employees union as saying the group was representing three UCLA Medical Center workers who were told they would be fired.

A UCLA Medical Center spokeswoman said the Times' source did not come from hospital, but she declined to comment beyond the hospital's statement.

Under federal law, only doctors and medical staff directly involved with a patient may work with records.   Continued...

 
<p>Britney Spears poses backstage following the Baby Phat 2007 Fall collection during New York Fashion Week February 2, 2007. The hospital where pop star Britney Spears was hospitalized in late January for psychiatric evaluation has suspended some employees and may fire others for looking at the singer's medical records, a source familiar the situation said on Friday. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>