Update May 13, 2016: A court has denied a request from Dr. Dorin's attorney to view thousands of video clips, ECM has learned. Sharp spokesman John Cihomsky informed us today , "...The judge agreed with Sharp that releasing the footage would violate patient privacy, so we will not be releasing the footage to the attorney."
By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine
May 12, 2016 (La Mesa) – Sharp Healthcare has issued a revised statement regarding an investigation that used hidden videos to catch a doctor now accused of stealing narcotic drugs off an anesthesia cart at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. ECM reported on privacy concerns raised in an article on May 7th. The hospital initially said that videos were only sent to the California Medical Board as evidence in a complaint filed against Dr. Adam Dorin, and that those clips did not include patients.
But today, John Cihomsky, vice president of public relations for Sharp, sent ECM an updated statement from Sharp. It indicates that 14 clips showing patients were mistakenly provided to Dr. Dorin’s attorney. In the statement, Sharp admits to and apologizes for breaching those patients’ privacy.
Below is Sharp’s statement in full:
In connection with recent publicity about a complaint by the California Medical Board against Dr. Adam Dorin related to events that occurred at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in 2012-2013, it recently came to our attention that Sharp, in response to Dr. Dorin's attorney's (Mr. Duane Admire) request for evidentiary material, mistakenly provided Mr. Admire with video clips that included patients in the operating room.
This was brought to our attention when we learned that Mr. Admire stated he viewed several clips that included patients within them. At our request, Mr. Admire returned that material to us on Tuesday, May 10. We have confirmed the information we provided to Mr. Admire did have 14 clips that included patients within them. Our intention was to send the attorney only the same video clips that were sent to the California Medical Board in January 2014 that contained no video of patients.
We are in the process of performing a detailed review of the clips and matching them to the surgery schedule to identify the patients that were included in these clips. Once we have identified the patients we will notify them as soon as possible. This is a top priority that we hope to have completed by early next week. We are very sorry that this error occurred and that the privacy of these patients was breached.
ECM asked Sharp to provide more information on the nature of the videos, such as whether the patients’ faces or any intimate areas were revealed.Cihomsky replied that "standard operating room protocols were followed for these patients. Depending on the procedure involved that could have included draping a given patient. Again, to protect the privacy of our patients we are not able to provide you with anything more specific."
Being proactive in notifying patients of the privacy breaches is a positive step by the hospital that could result in some patients forgiving the breach or, alternatively, reaching a settlement if they have serious privacy concerns.
The attorney for Dr. Dorin, however, has asked the court for all videos taken in hopes of finding evidence that could exonerate his client, who claims he used some of the drugs taken on patients or returned them to the anesthesia cart. Dr. Dorin faces potential suspension of his medical license.