Feeds

NJ hospital suspends 27 over Clooney record snoop

Paging Dr Ross

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A New Jersey Hospital has suspended more than two dozen workers suspected of accessing the medical records of George Clooney. The Palisades Medical Centre took the action after the former ER star was taken to the hospital following a motorcycle accident last month.

Clooney sustained a broken rib along with cuts and bruises when his bike collided with a car in the vicinity of Weehawken, New Jersey, on 21 September. His girlfriend, Sarah Larson, fractured two toes in the same incident.

Suspicions that staff snooped on Clooney's medical records and leaked information to the press prompted an internal investigation which, in turn, led to the suspension of 27 workers last week.

Hospital spokesman Eurice Rojas said the workers were suspended for a month without pay over allegations they accessed medical records without due cause or authorisation, a violation of US federal law (specifically the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Medical records at Palisades are kept on both paper and computer.

"We're confident in the system we have in place to protect the privacy of our patients. We have a process in place to protect the identity of the patients. This [reprimand] didn't happen because of the notoriety of the patient. We protect all of our patients," Rojas said, adding that the workers would be welcomed back once their suspension was over. He downplayed suggestions that the 1,200 worker facility would be short-staffed in the interim.

A union rep claimed up to seven of the suspended workers may have been authorised to view the records, local paper the Hudson Reporter writes. The paper adds that a range of workers including nurses, support staff and security guards have been hit by the disciplinary action.

Clooney released a media statement that said although he believed in a patient's right to privacy he hoped the matter could be settled "without suspending medical workers". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.