HIPAA violation or just a bad decision? - page 6

by concerned2012 16,223 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


  1. 0
    If necessary turn it in anonymously, but this must be turned in. Once someone oversteps these important boundaries of patient privacy, I am quite certain they will do it again unless they are stopped.
  2. 4
    MAJOR HIPPA violation, as well as a HUGE breach of ethics. Needs to be reported (which I understand is happening--great). This "manager" (how she got that position I'll never understand) needs to be disciplined; most likely relieved of her duties within the hospital (not just taken out of her managerial position) & reported to her state's BON for additional disciplinary actions.

    One time is bad enough; twice is unconscionable. In this day and age, ANYONE who works in healthcare should realize how wrong, wrong, WRONG this is!

    I remember as a nurses' aide back in 1977 or 1978 (long before anyone was a CNA). I worked on a pediatric floor and we had a baby expire. The death was not unexpected but of course still so very sad. As the RN & I worked on preparing the baby's body, our house supervisor came up to the floor & offered to take the baby down to the morgue. Generally in a case like this, the child would be wrapped in a blanket & carried unobtrusively to the morgue, so as not to call attention. This house supervisor carried this child throughout the hospital on their rounds to show the rest of the night shift "the poor dead baby!". How did we find out? We got calls from other units asking if we were OK; did we need to talk; oh & yeah--do you know what's happening with the supervisor?

    We both said something the next day to the head nurse who was of course appalled. When we got back to work either that night or the next, the house supervisor on duty (not the one who had done the deed) was on hand to tell us that how sorry they were about what had happened but that there was better ways of handling the "situation" then telling the whole hospital about it. It wasn't until other nurses complained to either their managers or to Nursing Office about what happened that we were not "in trouble" for spreading the information around. However, for the next 2 years, that nursing supervisor did everything in their power to find fault with anything myself or the RN did; always gave negative information about us, etc. This person had worked there for years and was basically "untouchable" but this offense really bothered so many people; it stayed with that person until they retired.

    Ever since then I personally have been such a proponent of patient confidentiality because I prayed that the parents of this child never found out what had happened. To my knowledge, they never did. There is a special place in Hell for people who knowingly and willingly violate confidentialty, ethics and their patients' trust.
  3. 1
    it is a violation if there is any way the child could be identified. There have been violations involving x-rays. Even if the face is not visible, if the disorder is unique, or if there is any reason the photo (or written information) could reasonably lead to identification, it is a violation. If, for some reason, it may not technically be a violation, it is still WILDLY unethical. The person with knowledge should report it, and let the feds determine whether it is a violation or not. S/he should report to the hospital for a couple of reasons - the patient in the photo is a patient at that hospital, and they are charged with safeguarding their patients' PHI safe. Another reason is that it is their employee who is taking unauthorized photos. They need to take a long, hard look at that practice. What's up with the 180 days thing? Show me that in the law please. And if the co-workers know this is going on and do nothing about it, they are just as guilty. I agree with tokmom--"Your co worker needs to have her license shredded into teeny tiny bits and her butt kicked by the BON until she screams for mercy."
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  4. 5
    HIPAA? HIPAA???

    We do not need HIPAA (although too many apparently felt in passing of that law that "Led and spoon fed" are necessary) to realize that recording anything (audio or visual) involving a patient, unless clinically indicated, is clearly a large step over the line of ethics and decency.

    If said nurse actually committed such an act of stupidity, that nurse should be out of there and the license cancelled immediately.
  5. 3
    hipaa or not hippa, this person is an @ss
    nursel56, TiddlDwink, and Babs0512 like this.
  6. 4
    "If I only had a brain..."

  7. 4
    Wow..if that were my child! I agree it is a HIPAA violation, besides being ethically atrocious.
  8. 3
    Any and all photography of any patient is a horrible violation and the person should be ashamed. There are some exclusions, histological samples..., but these are usually listed in the conditions of admission. Never, ever take a picture of a patient without a signed authorization. They are vulnerable and it is our responsibility to protect, not exploit them.
  9. 1
    It is clearly a violation. Without the express permission of the patient, in this case the parents as the child is unable to give consent, it is not permissable by law. To make fun of the child's condition is even worse. What an unfortunate situation.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  10. 1
    This is clearly a violation of HIPPA, more importantly, a blatent disregard for ethics and morality. Am I reading this right?? An assistant nurse manager took the picture? I am appalled. In addition, the fact that the writer of the original post was "unsure" of what to do also needs to understand the difference between right and wrong. I am a RN and work in a children's hospital and sometimes my patients have special needs and this "blows my mind" and saddens me that a nurse would take part in the immature behavior. IT IS SO WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS!!!!! Never is it appropriate to take a picture of a child with your camera while you are in the hospital setting. PERIOD! End of story.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.


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