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Technician censured over lab record access

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/06/2017

A medical laboratory technician who checked whether a colleague was pregnant by looking at her records when not authorised has been found guilty of professional misconduct. © AP Images A medical laboratory technician who checked whether a colleague was pregnant by looking at her records when not authorised has been found guilty of professional misconduct. A medical laboratory technician who checked whether a colleague was pregnant by looking at her records when not authorised has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, in a decision released on Thursday, censured the technician, named only as Ms R.

It also imposed conditions that would apply for 12 months from when she resumed practising and ordered her to pay $6300 towards the cost of the proceedings.

At a hearing in Christchurch in March, Ms R accepted that her conduct resulted from "extremely poor judgment" and was unacceptable professionally.

In the agreed summary of facts, Ms R was sitting with a laboratory scientist at work in May 2016 when they talked about whether a colleague, Ms N, was pregnant.

They discussed how Ms N had been frequently checking her computer and noted she had written on her staff break sheet that she had gone for blood tests.

Ms R, who had 20 years of practice as a medical laboratory technician, decided to "have a look".

She accessed Ms N's laboratory record and then told other colleagues Ms N's ante-natal screen test results were pending.

The following day, she again accessed the record and disclosed to other colleagues that the test results confirmed Ms N was pregnant.

The human resources department was informed of Ms R's actions and launched an investigation, which led to her employment being terminated.

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