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Hospital employee fired after inappropriately accessing patient information

Brianna Owczarzak & Kate Nadolski

Saginaw, Michigan -- A Mid-Michigan hospital employee was fired after inappropriately accessing patient information.

The former employee worked at Covenant in Saginaw.

"During an audit of our electronic medical records system in November, Covenant HealthCare discovered inappropriate access to a significant number of patient records by an employee. Following an investigation, Covenant discharged the employee and notified the appropriate agencies," said Kristin Knoll, a spokesperson for Covenant.

The hospital sent letters to more than 6,000 individuals who may have been affected.

One of those people is Gabriella Economous.

"I received a letter from Covenant and it was in regards to my son saying that someone had accessed his records with his medical treatment, where we live, personal info, driver license numbers," Economous said.

The incidents occurred between Feb. 1, 2016 and Nov. 21, 2016.

Once Covenant discovered the breach they opened an investigation and fired the employee involved.

"The letter is dated Jan. 20. I received it yesterday. We're talking months have gone by. Anything could've happened in that time," Economous said.

Covenant said they needed two months to conduct the investigation.

The hospital is providing free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to those who may have had their social security numbers viewed, Knoll said.

"As a result of this incident, Covenant is increasing the ongoing training with its workforce regarding patient privacy matters, and intensifying its audit process," Knoll said.

WNEM

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