Hospital Reviewing Security after Guard Accesses Patient Records

A Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital security guard may have violated HIPAA when he accessed patient information to Facebook friend a patient.

A Michigan Hospital is taking steps to improve patient information security after a hospital guard sent a Facebook friend request to a young patient in April.

The mother of a 19-year-old patient complained to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital in May about a hospital security guard sending a friend request to her daughter. Hospital leaders say the guard may have violated privacy protocols and are reporting the incident to the Michigan Department of Community Health, according to

The Grand Rapids hospital and the guard responsible sent letters to the family apologizing and after an independent review Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is reeducating hospital security officials and reevaluating its computer system.

The hospital may have violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which requires hospitals in the country to keep all healthcare information confidential.

The hospital released a statement saying it is investigating the incident.

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