Dear Abby: Hospital worker broke law by reading husband's medical records

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DEAR ABBY: "Concerned in Massachusetts" (Feb. 20) used her status as a hospital employee to access her husband's medical records and found a history of STDs. I'm a registered nurse with 40 years' experience. Every health care organization I know of teaches all their employees about HIPAA violations and that accessing private patient medical information is a criminal offense. It is essential that patients know they can trust us to protect their privacy. We have specific policies against using one's employee status to access a relative's medical information.

photo Jeanne Phillips

"Concerned" is lucky she still has a job. At my institution, she would be terminated for violating organizational policy and federal law. Her husband may not be a saint, but neither is she.