Is this considered a HIPAA violation?

  1. 0
    A full term mother at 38 weeks came into the hospital last month and delivered a baby. The mother states she did not know she was pregnant, and thought her labor pains were "gas" pains. This mother delivered at shift change, and mother nor baby came to the nursery before this particular shift ended. My question is if a message seen on Facebook later that day suggests a comment/opinion about this situation: something is just not right if a mother is full term and delivers a newborn without knowledge of being pregnant due to "gas" pains.

    Is this considered ok or in violation of HIPAA?

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  2. 9 Comments...

  3. 1
    If the patient (and there are two here) could be personally identified by any of the information posted, then yes, it would be a violation. In other words, if any reader could connect the patient's name to the fact she was the one who delivered that day it would be a violation. You mentioning it here is not a violation as there is no way I can know where or when this happened, nor would I know the patient's name. You should educate the poster of the original comment that this situation is not that uncommon. As hard as it is to believe, it happens all the time. I've seen it three times so far.
    jadu1106 likes this.
  4. 2
    Quote from jadu 1106
    a full term mother at 38 weeks came into the hospital last month and delivered a baby. the mother states she did not know she was pregnant, and thought her labor pains were "gas" pains. this mother delivered at shift change, and mother nor baby came to the nursery before this particular shift ended. my question is if a message seen on facebook later that day suggests a comment/opinion about this situation: something is just not right if a mother is full term and delivers a newborn without knowledge of being pregnant due to "gas" pains.

    is this considered ok or in violation of hipaa?
    first of all thank you for spelling hipaa correctly.

    please! please! please! tell me this is a homework assignment....please!?!

    why? oh why
    do people insist on posting this stuff to facebook?? .

    what is it about facebook? i'm on facebook. yet.......i don't feel obligated to post my every thought and move to a public forum. this stuff will haunt you. the laws have not yet caught up to the technology. i know of a case that was fought and won about an employee saying my boss is ^&*^%*(%^(..........never mentioning the bosses name but had their place of employment on their profile.....they got fired. they sued and aclu protected their right to assemble and voice descent........they got a "settlement" but still did not have their job.

    new haven, conn. — an amr paramedic in connecticut was illegally terminated after criticizing her boss on facebook, according to an initial ruling by the national labor relations board.
    officials rule conn. amr wrongly fired medic for facebook post

    ultimately amr settled out of court to prevent case law precedent.
    "dawnmarie souza, the emt who was fired after she posted unflattering descriptions of her supervisors at amr on her facebook page, has agreed to a 2-part settlement with amr and the encouragement of the federal judge hearing the complaint.the associated press [color=#0168d2]sums it up:
    the national labor relations board sued the company last year, arguing the worker’s negative comments were protected speech under federal labor laws. the company claimed it fired the emergency medical technician because of complaints about her work.
    under the settlement with the labor board, american medical response of connecticut inc. agreed to change its blogging and internet policy that barred workers from disparaging the company or its supervisors. the company also will revise another policy that prohibited employees from depicting the company in any way over the internet without permission.
    terms of a private settlement agreement between the employee, dawnmarie souza, and the company were not disclosed, but kreisberg said the parties reached a financial settlement. souza will not be returning to work there.
    many people had been anticipating a legal decision that defined the limts an employer could impose on an employee’s right to talk about their workplace and superiors. they will have to wait longer, now." amr vs. facebook settlement | firegeezer
    amr settles dawnmarie souza's wrongful termination lawsuit - wrongful termination - philadelphia employment law news


    if there is no patient name or identifier it may not be hipaa. but, if your employer is listed it might be.......it is at the very least a violation of the hospitals confidentiality policy and social media policy.

    please......just keep this stuff off facebook. pm your friends....talk them in person. don't place it in social media for the world to see......forever! what is muttered underneath your breath at work doesn't need to be posted on the world wide web!

    just a good rule of thumb.....keep work stuff off social media.

    peace

    don't get fired for facebook: 10 ways to use social media safely
    ruthalittle and jadu1106 like this.
  5. 3
    Here is the dealio. It might not be a HIPAA violation, BUT... I can assure you if anyone in Hospital admin saw that post, or had it brought to their attention, the consequences for the writer f the post were be severe.

    If you identify yourself as emplyed by XYZ hospital on Facebook, then everything you DO on FB is in a way a representation of the hospital. and YES, they do look at it.

    I know of a few people who have faced severe discipline or termination for comments such as that on FB.
    Altra, GrnTea, and jadu1106 like this.
  6. 2
    nope- not a HIPAA. because she didn't identify anyone's name...who knows, that person could have been talking about the TV show "i didn't know i was pregnant" rather than this patient. Still not a good idea to post that on facebook, but not a violation.
    kids and jadu1106 like this.
  7. 0
    Hello!

    Thank you to everyone for your input...unfortunately it isn't homework, and an actual incident. I appreciate those that took the time to read and reply!
  8. 0
    Quote from jadu1106
    A full term mother at 38 weeks came into the hospital last month and delivered a baby. The mother states she did not know she was pregnant, and thought her labor pains were "gas" pains. This mother delivered at shift change, and mother nor baby came to the nursery before this particular shift ended. My question is if a message seen on Facebook later that day suggests a comment/opinion about this situation: something is just not right if a mother is full term and delivers a newborn without knowledge of being pregnant due to "gas" pains.

    Is this considered ok or in violation of HIPAA?
    Are you saying you posted a comment about the delivery or event on your FB page?
    Hopefully, I am wrong. If you are 'professional', you would not do this? It could be considered a HIPAA violation, if the mother finds out you (The RN) posted something like this on your FB page. WHY would you feel the need to even comment about this publicly? I understand the need to discuss this with staff or peers to 'de-brief', but, why in Gods name would you put your license at risk and comment about this on FB?
  9. 0
    I think it is best to not even mention work on FB. I do not EVER post if I had a good day at work, bad day, what I did, etc. People on FB probably think I don't even have a job. In fact, the only thing I think I have ever mentioned was once a FB friend said something about furlough, and I posted that we had furlough too.

    I also don't think it is a good idea to post belittling comments about patients, even if they do something silly.
  10. 2
    my online wasted time is all here. at least i'm generally pretty anonymous.
    Esme12 and kids like this.
  11. 1
    It is not difficult for a person on facebook to go to the local newspapers and see who has a birth announcement for that hospital/day that nurse posted. And with facebook you can see friends of friends posts sometimes. Things like this can easily be connected to that person and I think the person on facebook shouldn't be giving out specifics.
    kids likes this.


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