Medics Allegedly Sneak Peek at George Clooneys Private Records

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-10-10 Print this article Print

Twenty-seven employees at a N.J. hospital have been suspended for allegedly leaking actor George Clooney's medical records from a hospital network.

Twenty-seven employees at Palisades Medical Center have reportedly been suspended for a month without pay for allegedly accessing George Clooneys medical records after the actor/director was hospitalized with injuries from a motorcycle crash in September. The investigation reportedly is continuing, with more than 40 employees under the crosshairs. Clooney and his companion Sarah Larson were injured when the motorcycle collided with a car in Weehawken, N.J. Clooney suffered a broken rib and skin abrasions and Larson broke her foot. According to reports, medical staffers who werent even treating Clooney accessed his personal medical records via the hospital computer system, a direct violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.
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Eurice Rojas, vice president of external affairs for Palisades Medical Center, in North Bergen, N.J., said in a statement that the hospitals physicians and employees "[adhere] to a strong code of ethics that respects the privacy and confidentiality of all of our patients. Our commitment is to always conduct our behavior in the highest possible standards and any conduct that violates the trust of our patients and the high standards we set is taken very seriously and treated in a very serious manner." Clooney released a statement to media in which he said that although privacy rights are important, his hope is that no medical workers will be suspended over the issue. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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