TORONTO – Mount Sinai Hospital has announced it is disciplining two staff members after they were caught taking a peek at the medical records for Mayor Rob Ford (pictured). “Two Mount Sinai staff members who are not part of the patient’s care team have inappropriately accessed his health record,” reads a statement circulated to media by the downtown hospital.
Mr. Ford has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments at Mount Sinai since last month, when he was diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare and fast-growing cancer.
According to the National Post, the hospital discovered the two employees due to what they called their “robust system of safeguards and auditing procedures.” The statement stressed that “appropriate action has been taken” against the staff, but provided no specifics. “We sincerely regret that these privacy breaches occurred,” wrote the hospital.
These records are kept confidential, explains the hospital’s website, in order to maintain “an atmosphere of trust between patients and caregivers.”
Nevertheless, Mount Sinai is certainly not alone in having employees caught violating this policy.
In 2012, Vancouver Coastal Health fired an employee who was discovered to be snooping through the electronic health records of five local media personalities. When confronted, the worker said she snooped out of “curiosity.”
Just last year at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, six employees were fired after snooping through medical information for reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
The mayor appeared weakened and without much of his hair this week as he appeared in public to cast an advance ballot in the municipal election. He is set to return to Mount Sinai Hospital on October 29 for his medical team to determine the next step of treatment.
Mr. Ford’s cancer diagnosis prompted the mayor to end his re-election bid, and he is now running for a council seat instead. His brother, Doug, is running for mayor in his place.