MINNEAPOLIS -- Nearly three dozen employees of Allina Hospitals and clinics were fired after allegedly violating the privacy of patients involved in a recent mass overdose incident.
Allina confirms that 32 employees were dismissed Thursday for what they termed "a HIPAA violation." Twenty-eight of them were from Unity Hospital, and four worked at Mercy Hospital
The employees are accused of looking up electronic medical records of patients treated at Mercy and Unity hospitals after a mass drug overdose in Blaine last March. Eleven people were hospitalized and one died.
Allina says those employees did not have legitimate patient care reasons to look up the information.
"We take our obligation to protect patient privacy very seriously," said David Kanihan, Allina Director of Marketing and Communications in a released statement. "Our actions in this matter are completely consistent with how we have always dealt with these cases. Anything short of a zero tolerance approach to this issue would be inadequate."
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