Is this a HIPAA violation - page 2

I have a friend that is pretty sure a Hippa violation happened to her. She was getting ready to go to college last year and two days before she was going she got a shot of Rocephin IM for a sinus... Read More

  1. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from avalynn
    Thanks to those of you that replied to me. If someone of you think I am the person I'm writing about you are wrong. My friend is in nursing school along with me but we haven't really started the nursing part. We are just in our general studies. If we were in the nursing part I'm sure we know about Hipaa so we wouldn't have to ask this question. My friend only confided in me because her parent's are her other sister in California helping her set up her new dental practice. She didn't want to worry them out there so she sat me down last night and asked me what she thought she should do. My mom is a nurse and comes to this board so I thought I would ask you nurses. I wanted to ask my mom but my friend is so embarrassed over her hospitalization that she didn't want me to. My friend told me that she never has told anyone other than her parents(who were with her) and her two sisters. Plus, she said this girl always tells her that she has seen her medical records and she know she was in the hospital for depression and addiction. She is going to go to the hospital tomorrow and talk to the person in charge of Hipaa violations. She said she is tired of this being held over her head and is having a hard time concentrating at school. I just told her she has nothing to be ashamed of but for some reason she is. I think I will ask my mom about it and just leave out my friends name as soon as she gets off of work. She works 3-11 so she should be home soon. I will update you after she goes to the hospital. I may go with her for support if she'll let me. Thanks for the replies. I have shown all of them to her.
    Keep us posted, I hope it goes well
  2. by   bethin
    Quote from avalynn
    I have a friend that is pretty sure a Hippa violation happened to her. She was getting ready to go to college last year and two days before she was going she got a shot of Rocephin IM for a sinus infection. She went into anaphlactic shock and almost died. She was in the hospital in her home town for 4 days. She had a very hard time and was diagnosed with PTSD. In May she was admitted to the hospital in the town where her college is for depression narcotic addiction. She was in there a week and with counseling has done awesome. That month she moved into an apartment where she met a girl that lived upstairs. They were friends until my friend moved out of that apartment and into the soriety house. This girl that lived upstairs didn't like my friend anymore since she joined the soriety. For the next six months this girl was real mean to my friend when ever she saw her. This girl worked at the same hospital my friend was hospitilzed for the depression. This girl was always calling my friend and text messaging her that she was going to tell everyone why she was in the hospital. My friend was scared because she didn't want anyone to know. About a month ago this girl was at the same club as my friend and followed her into the bathroom. She grabbed my friend around the neck and said "I'm going to tell everyone why you were in the hospital b---and everyone will know you are psycho and a drug addict. You can't get me in trouble and will have no proof i've told anyone." My friend went to the police station and reported the assault. They said this girl just committed a big Hippa violation and wanted her to talk to the people at the hospital. She is scared and doesn't know what to do. She said when she was friends with this girl that she would always tell her why patients were admitted there and would have charts of different patients at her apartment. At the time she didn't know why this girl would have them since she isn't a nursing student. Anyway, my friend doesn't know what to do. Is this a Hippa violation?
    Definitely report ASAP. Do not stop, do not go pass go, go directly to the hospital with the evidence. Go with the cell phone that has the text messages, etc on it. Bring witnesses in.

    Not only is this a HIPAA violation but it also could be intimadation(sp). Your post doesn't stat what the b**** does at the hospital exactly, but if she is in nursing beware: no way should a nurse act in such a derogatory, mean manner. Nurses are not perfect but she's crossed the line into illegal. Please please put a stop to this. If you don't, she will continue to do this to others.

    Also, remind her that a serious HIPAA violation can carry a sentence in a federal pen. How does Leavenworth sound?

    This woman sounds like she's the one that needs help. I don't know where she get off treating people like this but it's wrong and it's illegal. Please keep us up to date on what happens. Good luck.
    Last edit by bethin on Oct 19, '06
  3. by   ICRN2008
    In addition to reporting this blatant violation to the hospital, I would highly recommend reporting it to DHHS. You can't always rely on the hospital to do the right thing...

    Here is the website:
    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacyhowtofile.htm
  4. by   avalynn
    Thank you to everyone that replied. I talked to my mom as soon as she got home and she said the same thing you guys are saying. She said that is a big Hipaa violation and that this girl needs to be stopped immediately. She wants to go with my friend tomorrow and help her talk to the right people so hopefully my friend will let her go. Mom said at first she hated the new Hipaa rules but that this is the exact reason for it. I will update everyone tomorrow. I also don't know for sure what the girl does but I think something like a tech.
  5. by   Larry77
    If I were you I would simply give a little advice to your friend (some of what others have said is good) but I would not get personally involved--you could easily be the next target. Also sounds like there must have been some "issues" between your friend and the psycho and my bet would be you are not getting the whole story from your friend.
  6. by   NurseCard
    The "friend" who works at the hospital, the "psycho", probably felt jealous and betrayed because the other friend, the one who had been hospitalized, had went and joined a sorority. So she retaliated by threatening to tell everyone why the girl was in the hospital. End of story.
  7. by   AngelNurse25
    Charts at her apartment? Choking people? Can you say psycho????:uhoh21:

    Maybe your friend should check into a restraining order....
  8. by   PDXSN
    THis is definately a HIPPA violation as well as Blackmail, intimidation, assualt and I'm sure a good cop could come up with a few other charges. I would suggest your friend get a lawyer who specializes in such things as she very well could get the rest of her college paid for by the pyshco and potentially the hospital. There is serious emmotional damage here and if your story is accurate serious laws have been broken. It is ultimately up to the hospital to have systems in place to maintain patient privacy. Somewhere there is a breakdown in their system if employees are somehow allowed to take medical records home, or any other documentation regarding care, billing or personal infromation.
    I am not a big advocate of litigation but it sure seems appropriate in this case and your friends rights were violated by this seditious little B*&%$ and she should pay for it.

    Tell your friend she has a lot of people rooting for her and to get that psycho out of the healthcare industry ASAP!
  9. by   avalynn
    Hey. We'll my mom and my friend went to the hospital early this morning and talked to the head of corporate compliance. They are going to do an investigation right away. She will not be able to be less than 60 feet from the hospital and will be let go till after the investigation. Of course, they tried to talk her out of filing a Hipaa complaint although she is going to anyway with the help of my mom. Another titbit on this girl. This May she was kicked out of her apartment after she and another girl beat a college student up really bad. That girl has filed an assault charge against her as well as the apartment owner for causing bodily harm on a tenent. I am afraid this girl is dangerous. My friend called her parents and they are coming home tomorrow. She is really scared and that if anything is done it will come out why she was admitted. Hopefully her parents will be able to talk to her and encourage her to do the right thing. Also, my mom told her she should get a restraining order on this girl so she can't come anywhere near my friend. Thanks for the advice. Now I know why my mom wanted to be a nurse because you guys are the best. So kind and helpful.
  10. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    "IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE"


    JOv, not knowing all the laws in your particular field is questionable, but to generally state that ignorance of the law is no excuse implies that we all have graduated with a law degree and should have known better!:mortarboard:
  11. by   Antikigirl
    Okay here is my probelm...If I tell someone about my personal healthcare treatments/conditions..then I have made it public knowledge. That means if she told her when they were friends...well, it is public knowledge now since she was willing to devulge that info to that person. So the evil gal can simply say she was told about it, and never sought out any hospital information r/t her healthcare and she would be cleared of it unless it can be proven!

    I mean...for example..am I violating HIPAA if I tell my friend that "I am worried about my mom..she went into surgery for her stent placement today and I haven't heard back!" Or "my mom is doing well after her stent placement! She will get to go home tomorrow". NO..it is not...because generally people talk about this between eachother and it is not being relayed in a healthcare setting format. Now if I went to her chart without permission to see how she was doing and I then tell my friend about what I read YES...big time because I have no business looking in the chart to begin with let alone to speak about it.

    So basically if your friend told her at any time...it is not a violation.

    If she didn't tell the gal then YES! BIG TIME! I would certainly be setting up for a suit big time because of the violation, the assult, and the damage to current and future jobs!!!
  12. by   avalynn
    Hi everyone. I guess I didn't make myself clear about our nursing status. We are in a 4 year BSN program(nursing) but the first two years are in general studies. We have no nursing classes at this time. That's why I said that if we had been in them we would have known about Hipaa violations. They told my friend and my mom at the hospital that if she ever looked at her chart that they would know because she would have had to sign into a computer. They can tell somehow every person that has looked at a patient's chart per computer. She took her cell phone into Altel to see if they can bring up all the text messages. (This is my friend talking, the one that this happened to). Hi. I have read all the e-mails you guys wrote and most of them have been so helpful. I guess some of you don't believe my story but I can guarantee this is really happening. I didn't tell this girl anything about why I was in the hospital except my parents and sister's. I went and saw an attorney today per advice of my parent's. I filed a restraining order today also. He called and talked to Hipaa and he helped me file a violation. They said it would take about six weeks to investigate. She always told me that she had seen my medical records. One time she told us that she could get on a computer at the hospital were she works and look up any patient she wanted to. My friend's mom told us that she could look up information about a patient on the computer but if anyone ever found out that she looked it would be instant firing. My lawyer said it could come down to he said she said so hopefully they will find her name on my chart. Even if it doesn't go that way at least she will be warned and should stay away from me. Anyway, thank you for most of the replies given to my friend and I.
  13. by   mercyteapot
    It is absolutely a violation. I hope she saved those messages. That chick needs to lose her job, at a bare minimum. Your friend might also be interested to know that the law provides financial sanctions against blabbermouths such as her former neighbor and that she can also press criminal charges if she wishes.

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