The “octuplet mom” story not only created a media frenzy at Kaiser Permanente’s Bellflower hospital , the mom and her eight new born babies also created multiple lessons learned opportunities for every hospital that was paying attention.

The lessons learned started in January when the eight new babies were born and making sure hospital personnel were prepared to handle the media frenzy and what they could say and not say and what actions were acceptable and unacceptable. 

Does your organization have policies and procedures in place to handle a media frenzy?

Then in March, Kaiser Permanente’s Bellflower hospital revealed that 15 employees lost their jobs and eight others were disciplined for improperly accessing the “octuplet mom’s” medical records.  The lessons here involve multiple departments including management, human resources, information security, legal, risk management, compliance and individual level awareness and accountability. 

Does your organization have documentation and proof of due diligence in place to describe improperly accessing information and to ensure your termination and disciplinary actions will stand up to wrongful termination lawsuits?

Then in May, state health officials from the California Public Health Department’s Center for Health Care Quality announced that the Kaiser Permanente’s Bellflower hospital was fined $250,000 because nearly two dozen medical workers, including doctors, illegally view the “octuplet mom’s” medical records.

Does your organization have policies and procedures and documentation in place to explain what is legal and what is illegal regarding personal information covered by state mandates and federal regulations?

Will information breaches become a new revenue source for state governments desperately needing to address shortcomings and deficits?

Organizational leaders should take note sooner than later now that a precedent has been set and new regulations are definitely on their way!

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