ATCHISON, Kan. — An Atchison Hospital employee is accused of leaking a patient’s personal information to the woman's suspected rapist, leading him to rape the victim a second time.
The hospital says patient confidentiality and protecting personal information is a top priority, and they blame a former employee whose actions they call “deeply disturbing.”
The victim was sexually assaulted in May 2017; she went to Atchison Hospital for an evaluation and to have a rape kit processed.
She told hospital staff who attacked her and was adamant they not disclose that information to anyone.
According to a lawsuit filed against Atchison Hospital and one of its former employees though, an X-ray technician at the hospital contacted the woman’s assailant to tell him the victim had accused him of sexual assault.
The woman said that led to her alleged attacker relentlessly harassing her through text messages, social media and phone calls, as well as stalking her in public and her at her house, eventually raping her a second time. The lawsuit also says the hospital employee harassed and hounded her as well.
The suit blames Atchison Hospital for not securing patient medical information.
The hospital’s CEO wrote a letter to the patient, apologizing for any "concern or difficulty" the incident caused her.
Although the hospital fired the X-ray technician, the suit says Atchison Hospital gave her positive reviews so she could quickly get a new job at Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth. Saint Luke’s said it was unaware of the reason for the employee’s termination at Atchison before the lawsuit was filed, and they have since put her on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Atchison Hospital representatives said it’s reviewed the situation to see what could be done differently in the future.
The hospital said it “immediately implemented changes to internal controls including even stricter accessibility requirements to its Health Information Management Department. Patient confidentiality at Atchison Hospital and our ability to protect personal information is a top priority of ours."