Shriver Caught Up In L.a. Medical Records Fiasco
LATEST: Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver is among a number of high-profile patients whose medical records have been improperly accessed by staff at a Los Angeles hospital.
An unnamed female employee at the UCLA Medical Center, who was previously reported to have pried into Farrah Fawcett's private documents, is said to have been fired last May (07), after hospital bosses learned that she had been unlawfully snooping into star's medical records.
According to medical officers, the woman had been found to have had access to 61 patients' files between 2006 and 2007, including that of Shriver and Fawcett.
Dr. David Feinberg, the head of the UCLA Hospital System, described the woman behind the breaches in privacy as a "rogue" employee - but insisted a review of her e-mails and phone calls showed no evidence of information being passed on inappropriately.
The employee was caught out last year (07) when Fawcett became concerned about a story published by U.S. tabloid the National Enquirer regarding her cancer battle - shortly after doctors at UCLA Medical Center told the TV icon the news, and before she had spoken to her family and friends about it.
An internal investigation was launched, which eventually resulted in the woman's firing.
After being alerted to the security lapse regarding his wife's medical files on Friday (04Apr08), California governor Schwarzenegger issued a statement slamming the woman's action, adding that "a breach of any patient's medical records is outrageous".
But it's not the first time UCLA Medical Center bosses have been forced to take action against employees illegally snooping into patients' files. In 2008, 12 people were fired and six others suspended after they were found to have attempted to defy medical centre rules and obtain confidential information about another of the hospital's famous patients - Britney Spears.