Nurse Accused Of Illegally Accessing Thousands Of Medical Records

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A nurse who worked at city-owned Memorial Hospital is accused of accessing 2,500 medical records for personal use. Investigators say Lori Niell was accessing these records without a medical, billing, or operational reason.

Memorial Hospital said the nurse worked in the Occupational Health Clinic, and was a city employee, not an employee of the hospital. Niell was allowed access all the hospital's patient records as a part of her job.

"Well, I've had two of my children at Memorial so that would be concerning. I don't know what she's going to do with that information or who it's going to," former patient Adriennee Schipfer said.

Investigators said she was most likely not using the information for identity theft, but won't comment any more as to why they say she accessed the files.

"Just the fact that an employee would be able to access that many patients' records that she probably never even had contact with it’s concerning," Wendy Harms said.

Memorial Chief Executive Officer Dr. Larry McEvoy said they are both saddened and angered by the accusations.

“People entrust us with their lives and most intimate details. They turn to us for safety, privacy and respect, and that’s a special trust we take seriously,” McEvoy said in a statement.

Memorial has since formed a task force to increase security, to prevent something like this from happening again. They’re also exploring other computer systems that will detect unusual medical record activity more quickly.

No criminal charges have been filed and when 11 News asked if Niell was fired or quit, a city spokesperson said they'll get back to us.

Affected patients are being notified about what happened by mail. Any patients who might have concerns about this incident can call 1-866-282-9930.

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