Quote from llg
Personally, I would discuss this situation with my manager and ask what the facility's position is. In such a sensitive situation, I would never make that decision by myself and take full responsibility for it. I would use my resources (manager, risk manager, etc.) and comply with my facility's policy -- which is hopefully, based on a consensus of expert opinion.
I understand the point you're making but in my opinion that responsibility falls squarely on Nurse Snooping Susan, OP's coworker. Since she chose to do something (likely for the purpose of satisfying her curiosity) which might even be against facility policy for all we know. If anyone should do anything, I think she's the one who needs to assume ownership of the ensuing mess.
I noticed that some posters seem concerned about various possible scenarios that may or may not happen in the future, involving this currently very ill and bedridden patient. As former law enforcement I always operate under the assumption that the only difference between a convicted criminal and a person who's not convicted of any crimes, is that the convicted criminal got caught. My point isn't that I think that all of humankind are criminal or will commit crimes as soon as the opportunity presents itself, but rather that you never know in advance which person
it is who will do something wildly inappropriate or even criminal. For everyone's safety, you simply keep a watchful eye on everything that goes on, and any patient wandering off to a different floor than their own, should be noticed.
The only reason Curious Candace started looking for information on this patient was because he has an ankle bracelet. That's what led to her internet search, right? Most people convicted of crimes don't have one of those after having served their sentence, and no staff member would have been any the wiser.