New Zealand medicos who `inappropriately accessed` Ryder`s file facing disciplinary action

Wellington: Four hospital staff from three district health boards in New Zealand are facing disciplinary action for inappropriately accessing cricketer Jesse Ryder`s medical records while he was a patient at Christchurch Hospital earlier this year.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the staff members, who were working at Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), had accessed without permission the records of Ryder, who was admitted to the hospital in March after he was attacked outside a Christchurch bar.

The report further said that Ryder had suffered a head injury and spent two days in an induced coma, with CDHB chief executive David Meates saying that three staff members at his DHB were facing disciplinary action.

The report also said that one staff member working at the hospital at the time had been seconded from another DHB and a separate process had been undertaken relating to that employee.

Stating that the privacy breach was discovered after a routine audit following Ryder`s discharge, Meates said that the identity of the four staff members were confirmed through their personal and traceable log-in passwords, adding that the board has apologised to Ryder.

However, Meates dismissed suggestions that they were only reviewing the situation due to its high profile nature, saying that they will have the same approach regardless of the nature of the case, adding that the staff did not pass on any of the information they viewed.

According to Meates, they are able to ensure that access to patient information is traceable from a systems perspective, adding that every time a record is assessed, an electronic `footprint` is left on a patient`s file.

Ryder`s records were accessed via a picture archiving system that the CDHB uses to provide clinicians around the South Island with a platform to communicate and provide second opinions to one another.