Nurse suspended for inappropriately looking at patient records

The electronic system warned against looking at patient files but the nurse went ahead anyway. Photo / iStock
The electronic system warned against looking at patient files but the nurse went ahead anyway. Photo / iStock

A registered nurse has been suspended for four months after inappropriately accessing patient information, despite those patients not being in her care.

Balvinder Toor, who worked in Palmerston North, accessed and viewed electronic clinical records of 34 patients on 173 occasions between October 1, 2011 and October 30, 2012.

Whenever a staff member of the MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB) logged into the electronic management system they were met with a warning about patient confidentiality, and told that the system audits every access to patients' data.

Despite these warnings, Ms Toor repeatedly accessed the confidential information.

On June 2 the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found Ms Toor's guilty of misconduct, because of her malpractice and the likelihood of her conduct bringing discredit on the nursing profession.

Ms Toor admitted to all charges brought against her by the tribunal.

However, she argued for name suppression based on the possible negative effects on her family.

The tribunal found that no information provided by Ms Toor was enough to outweigh the public interest in identifying her.

Furthermore, none of the relevant family members were residents of New Zealand.

Ms Toor was employed by the MDHB as a registered nurse from October 2007 and was formally dismissed in March 2013.

She was also ordered to pay $3400 towards the costs and expenses of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Nursing Council of New Zealand (PCC) and the Disciplinary Tribunal.

Ms Toor no longer lives or works in New Zealand.

All relevant patients have permanent suppression of name and any health details.

- NZ Herald

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