HIPAA violation or just a bad decision? - page 5

by concerned2012 16,401 Views | 75 Comments

i have a question that may seem like a homework assignment but this is not. i'm concerned that a individual, that is a rn, may have made a big mistake. a nurse that is an assistant manager of a picu sent a picture via text of a... Read More


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    Yes, please keep us posted. I do think it will help with some of the frustration and anger posted here. This post really struck a nerve with many of the nurses. To know something was done to prevent this from happening again would make us very happy!
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    Thanks all, for your kind words, I sure didn't want to hijack the thread. I was just blown away that there are wolves in sheeps clothing (in every profession!), I don't think ours' is any different in that manner. But, when it involves a child, it just takes it up to a whole new level.

    The Nurse who used my nieces SSN for her 2011 tax returns (I checked for an update today), has lawyered up (of course I don't blame her for that), but also, this is all fresh and still under investigation. I do know from her initial statement, she has an addicted husband, so I think it's going to come down "Co-dependent Behavior." I also understand she is innocent until proven guilty. I understand the difference in these two situations, I'd pick ours anyday!!!! I just couldn't handle the knowledge that someone would snap a picture of her, in a moment where she could no longer be recognized as my niece. I couldn't. I know.

    I also feel guilty for using her nurse really, she might have treated my niece with the utmost care- it was just the fact that we were so hurt over losing her, that was just an added "twist of the knife." I cannot compare these two things, one of these were grossly negligent practice, and the other was a really a crime against my nieces parents- and no harm was done to my niece.

    I also feel guilty claiming any pain compared to what a PARENT feels when they loose a child. It's just being a nurse, I got real "closer" to her, earning her trust to do all her bloodwork, her IVs, her tube feedings, and any other "Scary" thing to her. Being family, and travel nursing, I had extra time to spend when she got acutely ill. I have driven from Houston, TX to Charlotte, NC to be there when she was in the hospitals, to ease the fear (her and mine). Surgery after Surgery, let down-after-let down, she fought. The last hospitalization, came during the night, and being 500 miles away, and not "planned," it took some maneuvering to get there. When I walked in, I knew. She was swelling uncontrollably, systems shutting down one by one- and the next morning she was gone. She had been my "mission" for sooooooo long.

    But, if I can bring out one thing, the only thing stronger than the pain and loss of the last 2 years of fighting for her life, is the 5 most incredible years we were blessed by her short visit. She really had a glow. You couldn't feel "sorry" for her, she was sooooo happy while she was here, and she loved life. She was a cute little angel on earth, and gave me cause to fight!!!!!!

    OP, Thanks for doing the right thing, I believe doing goodwill always comes back around to you stronger than you sent it. You got a thankful crew here at allnurses.com. We'll be rooting for her here!!!! God Bless!!!!!!
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Apr 2, '12 : Reason: spelling/grammar (that I noticed)
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    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I said it on another thread, and it's appropriate here too.

    "When it comes to children, it get's personal to the Nurse real quick!" A healthy child is fragile enough in our care. I think of the parents running into the ER. .

    and handing YOU their baby, with all the blind trust in the world. They "hand" you their baby, and thus put his/her life in OUR hands. I want to keep those hands clean, reliable, and dependable. Those hands should be a safe place to rest. Those hands should be protectors. They should only show the way to health and wellness. They should guide relentlessly to the path of safety, and security. They should be used to ease pain, and encourage comfort. They should always be trustworthy.
    I'm sorry, Boston -- for what you've gone through as well as every other parent and caregiver of special needs kids who must live with the constant fear that their child will be hurt by mocking and thoughtless behaviors. The overall attitude one would need to have to mock a helpless child disqualifies them for their job imo. Thank God most nurses who work in peds choose to do so for all the right reasons. The only good thing about this one -- she outed her true character with that act.

    What you wrote about "hands" is so sweet and so true.
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    Wow! So happy to hear she is reporting it. That is so unethical in so many ways. People need to think before they do things and except the consequences of their actions. Please keep us posted.



    Boston I'm so sorry for your loss and what that nurse did was insane! I hope she gets the max punishment!
    LostCauseCCRN, nursel56, VykingRN, and 2 others like this.
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    Just glad to see a Happy Ending!!!!:bowingpurTo Allnurses Posters on this Thread.

    You guys are the "Mostest Greatest!"

    That "Nurse" can also now get the help she needs too. I don't want to believe people do pure evil for "No" reason. She must have been hurt tremendously in life and been through a lot to justify snaping that picture of an innocent child in the mind frame that it would evoke humorous actions. After much thought and prayer, something has been damaged and gone wrong on a very deep level with her. But, with all that said, I hope it ends well for both parties, and I'm sorry if I got too harsh. I really believe in second chances, but they have to be earned too I think.

    I don't wish harm to anyone, and like I said, I don't know her story. I just trully hope and pray that everyone recieves "Justice" in this matter.

    Thanks again for your heartfelt posts, My wife also really appreciated them as well. As long as there is SO MUCH GOOD, we can deal with the "Negative" case by case.

    Boston
    LostCauseCCRN, RN2LuvU, nursel56, and 3 others like this.
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    [QUOTE=BostonTerrierLoverRN;6318900]I said it on another thread, and it's appropriate here too.

    "When it comes to children, it get's personal to the Nurse real quick!" A healthy child is fragile enough in our care. I think of the parents running into the ER. .

    and handing YOU their baby, with all the blind trust in the world. They "hand" you their baby, and thus put his/her life in OUR hands. I want to keep those hands clean, reliable, and dependable. Those hands should be a safe place to rest. Those hands should be protectors. They should only show the way to health and wellness. They should guide relentlessly to the path of safety, and security. They should be used to ease pain, and encourage comfort. They should always be trustworthy.[QUOTE]

    Posts like the OP make me start to lose my faith in humanity. Then I read a post like this, and it is restored. Thank you, Boston. Beautiful words and so very true. Hugs.
    Phoenixbyrd, LostCauseCCRN, RN2LuvU, and 7 others like this.
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    I think that this nurse is in violation of being HUMAN. What dreadful sort of person would do this, anyway? Whether it is in violation of legal codes, etc, is not the issue here. Should someone like this really be working in a sensitive area, if with people at all? HELL YES, I would blow the whistle on this person, and let those in authority deal with them. This is unacceptable behavior for a professional.
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    Definately a HIPAA violation, and a violation of her duties as a nurse. I know of 2 people, a tech and a nurse who both took a picture of a pt at the hospital. One wanted a pic of a "serious" code, and the other a pic of a very sick pt. Both were fired, as they should be. This nurse probably thinks it's a harmless joke, but I'm sure she would think differently if it was her own child, or if she actually cared about her patients. The fact that an adult, much less a nurse, would make fun of a child, is infuriating to me!
    nursel56 and TiddlDwink like this.
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    I've been working with medical records since 1995 and this is a clear HIPPA violation. A simple question you can ask yourself is how would you feel if it was your family member's picture or, in this case, your child's picture. Personally, I feel this behavior to be extremely unprofessional, although I have witnessed it over and over again. We, as healthcare providers, see the most private parts of a person's life and we really, really do need to respect that.

    The first hospital I worked fore, a few years before HIPPA, had the simple rule: You were caught talking about a patient (and at this point it would include distribution documents and/or pics), you will be fire on the spot and you may sue the hospital afterwards. The hospital actually enforced this rule... two transcriptionists were fired after talking about a patient on the benches of a local HS football game, not being aware that family members sat right behind them...
    nursel56 and TiddlDwink like this.
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    Quote from concerned2012
    i have a question that may seem like a homework assignment but this is not. i'm concerned that a individual, that is a rn, may have made a big mistake.
    a nurse that is an assistant manager of a picu sent a picture via text of a small child, 1 year old, with a severe handicap. along with the text picture was a description "poking fun" at the appearance of the child. the picture was sent to two separate individuals. the child’s face was in the picture but no patient name, diagnosis, or any other identifying description. the individual then instructed the people to picture and text was sent to, to "delete right away". they did not.

    sadly the same individual sent another picture via text of another small child, 6 months old, with the child’s face clearly visible but, again, no identifiers such as name, but did say the child had rsv. is this a violation or not. the pictures were not posted to face book or anything but one of the people that received the picture is a fellow employee and is struggling with what to do. first is this a clear cut violation? secondly, is the person that received the picture in violation if they do not turn in the employee that sent it?
    most definately a hipaa violation, grounds for immediate termination and a report to the board. how insensitive is she and what else has she posted that hasn't been uncovered?


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