Maine hospital apologizes for ‘wall of shame’ displaying confidential patient info

A hospital in Maine is apologizing after the state’s Human Rights Commission said workers had created a “wall of shame” ridiculing disabled patients and incorporating confidential medical information, according to CNN.

MyKayla McCann, an employee who was treated at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, said that at least two co-workers looked at her medical records and that after she returned from a leave of absence she believed they were treating her differently.

In September 2016, she reported her discomfort and the “wall of shame,” which included details of patients’ sexual activity, bodily functions and private parts, according to the commission. The wall was later taken down.

McCann, who is herself disabled, said she was discriminated against and subjected to an “abusive environment,” according to CNN. The wall was removed after four months, an investigation into the case found, while the hospital claimed it came down in weeks.

“Coworkers constructed a workplace display ridiculing patients with disabilities. [McCann] encountered the display every day as part of her regular environment, making harassment pervasive,” the state investigator said.

“The information posted on Shame Wall was intended to demean and humiliate and included supposed ‘jokes’ about the hospital’s physically and mentally disabled patients.”

One of McCann’s coworkers was fired and another given a warning in December 2016, while McCann, describing workplace conditions as “intolerable,” left in January 2017, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The parent companies for St. Mary’s apologized over the incident in a statement the news outlet reported Thursday.

“We deeply regret that this situation occurred,” the statement read. “[W]e sincerely apologize for the impact this situation has had on Ms. McCann.”

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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