Hospital Fires Up to Six For Peeking at TV Anchor's Files

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - St. Vincent Health says says that up to six employees have been fired for improperly accessing the medical records of slain TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly.

System President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Banko told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that a routine patient-privacy audit showed that as many as eight people gained access to Pressly's records.

All eight were placed on leave during an investigation, which determined that at least two of the employees had valid reasons for accessing Pressly's records.

Banko wouldn't identify the employees or say what positions they held. However, doctors are not considered hospital employees at St. Vincent, so they were not among those fired in the incident.

Pressly, an anchorwoman at Little Rock's ABC affiliate KATV, was hospitalized at St. Vincent after she was attacked October 20th.

She never regained consciousness and died five days later. No arrests have been made.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)