HIPAA question...

  1. 0
    Just a quick query, if y'all don't mind.

    Occasionally, if something cute or otherwise occurs during my day, I'll make mention of it on Facebook. No names, if it involves a patient. Usually gender neutral. And always something so generic as to have occurred more than once a day.

    Case in point, a little old patient who praised my blood drawing skills and said the clinic should hire me! Like she had not been my patient for 2 years!

    Worded as: "Had one tell me today that I should be hired to draw blood!

    Benign, nonsense stuff like this...can it be construed as a HIPAA issue? Just wanna know. Thanks.
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    People think that if you don't mention a name, it's not a HIPAA violation. The bottom line is that it's easier to not say anything than to defend your job if someone in management disagrees. However, a HIPAA violation means that you post enough information to where the patient can be identified.

    So you may mention that you did a blood draw on someone at work...if through the six degrees of separation on Facebook, your patient saw that post and knew she had her blood drawn that day and complains? Congrats...you have just made a HIPAA violation.

    I never, ever, mention anything specific. I may say I had a great day at work, have a new appreciation for life, but I never mention a procedure or anything negative...ever.

    Our facility has been terminating nurses (and they have been getting denied unemployment benefits), because they have said something negative on Facebook...such as, "This is the worst day at work" or "I just want to go home in the morning!" That is because most people on Facebook have their employer listed...employers feel that these statements reflect negatively on the company....stating an opinion is not a HIPAA violation...it will just get you in trouble.
    Chin up, bebbercorn, poppycat, and 2 others like this.
  4. 0
    Good day:

    Facebook, as well as other social networks, suffer from a HUGE amount of privacy issues even if you have the best privacy settings.

    Your Facebook Likes may reveal more than you probably like | Internet & Media - CNET News is just one case of many on the like button alone.

    HIPPA aside (HIPPA still matters), I strongly recommend being careful about whatever is posted on any social network.

    If a patient or coworker or boss made you feel great (or the opposite), it might be better to discuss that the old fashion way with your friends -- in person or on the phone; and then pay close attention to HIPPA.

    Thank you.
  5. 0
    Quote from pmabraham
    Good day:

    Facebook, as well as other social networks, suffer from a HUGE amount of privacy issues even if you have the best privacy settings.

    Your Facebook Likes may reveal more than you probably like | Internet & Media - CNET News is just one case of many on the like button alone.

    HIPPA aside (HIPPA still matters), I strongly recommend being careful about whatever is posted on any social network.

    If a patient or coworker or boss made you feel great (or the opposite), it might be better to discuss that the old fashion way with your friends -- in person or on the phone; and then pay close attention to HIPPA.

    Thank you.
    Had that come up the other day...someone asked me how I could possibly 'like' BP. I didn't 'like' them, per se, but I 'liked' a post by someone who did 'like' them. It got crossed.
  6. 0
    Good day:

    Technology News: Privacy: Likes Can Tell the Story of Your Life was recently published.

    Thank you.
  7. 3
    Work stuff needs to off social media...whether or not there are names. Why take that chance?
    poppycat, Jory, and pmabraham like this.
  8. 1
    I learned the hard way to never ever ever puts anything on fb. If you have your employer listed EVERYTHING you do is a representation of them and opens a door for firing. Mention that your friend is in town and you're going out, the next am you post something about its your Monday, those two innocent things can be connected and it could look like you're working impaired from lack if sleep or alcohol. Most states are right to work and if you're on someone's bad side you can be fired. Just easier to post nothing about work, ever.
    Esme12 likes this.
  9. 0
    Posting work-related stuff on a social networking site is much like landing an airplane... when in doubt, don't do it.
  10. 0
    Posting any work related details on FB can be construed as unprofessional... recently heard a CNA getting dismissed for being on FB on the job. There might have been other issues, but it's not worth the risk.
  11. 0
    Quote from SionainnRN
    I learned the hard way to never ever ever puts anything on fb. If you have your employer listed EVERYTHING you do is a representation of them and opens a door for firing. Mention that your friend is in town and you're going out, the next am you post something about its your Monday, those two innocent things can be connected and it could look like you're working impaired from lack if sleep or alcohol. Most states are right to work and if you're on someone's bad side you can be fired. Just easier to post nothing about work, ever.
    Putting down the NAME of your employer (unless its a professional work related account that represents the employer) IS just asking for trouble. Sharing details or evincing anything other than a sunny disposition when talking about work can definitely get you canned as unprofessional even without it being a hipaa violation if people can tie you to your employer.

    It can also get you thrown out of nursing school, especially when combined with other factors. It can be the nail in the coffin. Seen it happen.

    Work and Facebook: DANGER Will Robinson!
    Last edit by Sadala on Mar 17, '13 : Reason: clarification


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