LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – An employee at the Longview Fire Department resigned after reportedly sharing private patient information earlier this month.
According to a notice from the Longview Fire Department, they “received information that an employee had potentially shared private patient information in violation of department policy and potentially state and federal laws” on Aug. 3 and immediately opened an investigation.
The department prepared to put the employee on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, as state law mandates an investigation before any punitive disciplinary action of public safety personnel.
Longview Fire Department also reported the incident to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which regulates the department’s emergency medical services. DSHS then reported the information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
On Aug. 4, the department reports making “multiple unsuccessful phone, text, and in-person attempts to contact the employee with notification of the investigation.”
The next day, the employee went to the Longview Fire Department at 7 a.m. and resigned.
“The Longview Fire Department upholds the standards and practices of emergency services,” Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman said. “Unethical behavior of any kind will not be tolerated in our organization.”
The department states that all their employees get training on rules and regulations about protecting personal information, and that safeguarding that information is vital for training of all regulated healthcare providers.