Horrible breach of personal confidentiality!

  1. A friend of mine knew that I had some bloodwork done. She called her friend that works at the lab and had her check her databases for my results. I am outraged and feel so personally violated. Not to mention that it is so illegal. The problem is, if i were to take any action I would be alienating a friend that has a lot of issues going on- possibly severe mental illness. There is no telling what she is capable of if I upset her. She has made suicidal threats in the past....she would be the type to go out of my way to make my life hell if I did anything. But i am so angry about this and feel no one should have access to my personal information without my consent, and that something should be done. I need advice on what to do without facing repercussions!
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   ambhee04
    Friends don't do this kind of thing to friends. You must tell her how this violated you. She sounds like she needs a long term therapy. If she threatens to do something violent, that's emotional blackmail, if she gives you a guilt trip for saying something so what? She'll get over it, you must set boundaries and let her know people can go to jail for this.
    Good luck. you need to find new friends.
  4. by   gladtobeOB
    Did she actually obtain the results? If so, I would go after the person in the lab who gave her your results because she also should have known better. Just because someone asks for them doesn't mean they should be given to them whatever her position is within the hospital. Sounds like a big HIPPA violation and a personal friend that betrayed your trust.
  5. by   gwenith
    Sounds like the kind of friend you can live without.

    I would confront the lab and REALLY give it to them for giving out the information and I would let this "friend" know in no uncertain terms that her behaviour was totally unacceptable to you and will NOT be tolerated.

    Unless you do this what will she do next? Move in with you? Ring your employer and pass on information?

    Put a stop to unacceptable behaviour NOW!!!
  6. by   Brownms46
    There are two things you can do. Make a stink...and take the heat, or leave it alone...and distance yourself from this "friend". I say friend tongue in cheek...because this doesn't sound like a friend to me, or someone I would have in my life.


    As for me...I would make a stink and take the heat! Both she and the person who gave her the information...shouldn't be allowed to this to someone else. Plus...I have a feeling, you're going to take the heat anyway, from the way this person sounds. Good luck in whatever your decision is, but I would definitely end this "friendship". There is no excuse for what this person had the nerve to do.
  7. by   cannoli
    I'd report it to the CEO's office of wherever this happened.
  8. by   Nikki730
    Maybe she thought she was doing you a favor, getting your results faster than the lab would give them to you, but she's showing you she has no concept of normal boundaries.
    You seem like a kind person, but I don't think I could stay friends with this person after that (regardless of her need for a good, understanding, caring friend in her life). I mean, really, now this "friend" has your private info, which she could use poor judgement in distributing it to other mutual friends, etc. I could understand how upset you must be. Regardless of what "personal info" she has, and regardless of whether you call that laboratory and report the violation, I would probably just do a quick fade on her, like not answering her calls, having other plans when she wants to get together, etc. Whether she comes to the conclusion that her behavior necessitated the distancing, is her problem. You deserve to have more time to focus on friends you enjoy. She's not just emotionally fragile, like a wilting flower--she sounds like a china cabinet full of breakables, ready to topple and hurt lots of people/things in the process.

    Sorry you had such a bad experience, hope you feel better soon. You certainly did nothing to deserve such heinous, misguided actions from her. I don't mean to diss your friend--but she made a serious mistake, and even if the friendship survives, she created serious trust issues not easily overcome.
  9. by   Brownms46
    Quote from Nikki730
    Maybe she thought she was doing you a favor, getting your results faster than the lab would give them to you, but she's showing you she has no concept of normal boundaries.
    You seem like a kind person, but I don't think I could stay friends with this person after that (regardless of her need for a good, understanding, caring friend in her life). I mean, really, now this "friend" has your private info, which she could use poor judgement in distributing it to other mutual friends, etc. I could understand how upset you must be. Regardless of what "personal info" she has, and regardless of whether you call that laboratory and report the violation, I would probably just do a quick fade on her, like not answering her calls, having other plans when she wants to get together, etc. Whether she comes to the conclusion that her behavior necessitated the distancing, is her problem. You deserve to have more time to focus on friends you enjoy. She's not just emotionally fragile, like a wilting flower--she sounds like a china cabinet full of breakables, ready to topple and hurt lots of people/things in the process.

    Sorry you had such a bad experience, hope you feel better soon. You certainly did nothing to deserve such heinous, misguided actions from her. I don't mean to diss your friend--but she made a serious mistake, and even if the friendship survives, she created serious trust issues not easily overcome.
    EXCELLENT answer!
  10. by   rjflyn
    Can you say HIPPA violation. Personally id consult my lawyer.
    Rj
  11. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from gladtobeOB
    Did she actually obtain the results? If so, I would go after the person in the lab who gave her your results because she also should have known better. Just because someone asks for them doesn't mean they should be given to them whatever her position is within the hospital. Sounds like a big HIPPA violation and a personal friend that betrayed your trust.

    MY thoughts exactly. The lab is under the rules of HIPPA just as much as anyone else.
  12. by   rosieseattle
    Where does the laboratory employee get off at releasing your information to begin with? The problem is not your friend making the phone call, the problem is the response she got from the facility that you entrusted to keep your records confidential.
    I think first and foremost you should report this to the physician that ordered your lab work. That information should be reported only to the ordering physician and then to you, unless you have prior written authorization from your physician to obtain your lab work results.
    If the laboratory employee is releasing confidential patient lab results, the physicians need to be notified immediately. And, your name should be kept confidential as the phsyciain has the duty to report this to the facility that he or she practices in.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Sounds like a round of HIPAA education is in order!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is more than one violator here, as noted before.
  14. by   UK2USA
    This situation definitely needs to be taken further. I don't think that there is anything you can do about your friend except drop her!... her problems are hers alone. I know that sounds hard but she is showing no recognition of your friendship by her actions.

    I would definitely make a formal complaint to the physician and the manager of the lab. Disclosure of this type is totally out of order - and just think... whose details (apart from yours) is he handing out. Get the lawyers involved take this all the way, it is absolutely disgusting.

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