GROVE — An Oklahoma woman said she was relieved of her duties at an Integris hospital after she cited religious reasons for not wanting to comply with a hospital policy.
Maggie McBane, of Grove, recently told her supervisor at Integris Grove Hospital that she objected to signing up patients to use palm scanners that the hospital uses to identify patients.
Integris, the largest Oklahoma-based health system in the state, uses a palm-vein scanner system known as PatientSecure, which works by scanning the vein pattern of a patient's palm, according to the Integris website.
McBane cited religious reasons, explaining that she thought the company was lying to its patients about the type of information it was collecting and that she thought the system resembles the “mark of the beast” referenced in Revelation, the last book in the Bible.
“We do have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion, and I don't think it's fair for a company to request activities of their employees that go against their moral faith without reasonable accommodation,” she said.
McBane said her next step may be to take legal action against Integris.
Integris spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said in a statement that Integris respects religious preferences and beliefs of all employees and patients.
“The matter came to the attention of Integris management,” Cayot said. “Our employee held the position of patient registrar, and conducting palm scans is an essential job function of that position.”
Cayot said palm scanners reduce the risk of medical identity theft and help the hospital system comply with federal identity protection safeguards.
McBane said she was told she needed to submit a letter from a pastor, confirming her religious reasons against the palm scanners. After McBane submitted the letter, Integris denied her religious accommodation, according to documents McBane shared with The Oklahoman.