New Privacy Policies Implemented At AZ State Hospital Following Legal Review
The Arizona State Hospital in Phoenix houses 300 of the most vulnerable psychiatric patients in the state. Recent concerns about patient confidentiality prompted a legal review at the facility.
Concerns were raised about the actions of members of the Arizona State Hospital Human Rights Committee. HRC was found to be in gross violation of state law and operating guidelines on several accounts. Dr. Cara Christ is director of Arizona Department of Health Services. She says the state agency partnered with the Attorney General's Office to conduct the review.
"People who were not part of the HRC were being copied on emails requesting personal patient information. People were gaining access to the hospital grounds, utilizing their role as an HRC member, but actually didn’t have the grounds to be there. And then we identified that they were working with patients that they didn’t have a statutory right to work with," Christ said.
Christ says HRC members will be held to the strictest confidentiality standards and new procedures are being implemented.