I maybe in trouble, HIPPA Violation - page 2

by ms.amy03

16,691 Views | 51 Comments

It might be easier to discuss what I know about HIPPA. I am a nursing student to begin with. From what I've learned is that sharing patient information with those who are not directly involved with that patient's care is wrong.... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from ms.amy03
    BostonFNP,

    I just try not to question things as it was a very intense and sticky situation in that office, if the Program director says I've violated it then I must have. My future is in their hands. The last thing I want to do is go and probe into "what did I violate?" with the Director.

    FYI, I love Np's and what they do, you guys are amazing.
    I wouldn't bring it up either, just apologize and move on.
  2. 0
    Just do whatever the directors asks & learn from this experience. I am continually amazed at what sorts of things people will put onto FB or how fast it can get around.
  3. 3
    Wow...I honesty don't understand how in the world that is a HIPAA violation. We can't even speak about procedures we do anymore? I called my husband this evening and told him I put in my first NG tube today....did I violate someone's privacy?

    School's are insanely paranoid about two things:
    HIPAA and cheating. To the point of annoying me.

    Your post was absolutely unprofessional and inappropriate, but none of your school's business without any kind of patient info/location.
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    I don't post anything about work on FB, AT ALL. At my school, there were three hospitals you could be at for a clinical rotation. You might not post any identifiers, but if someone you knew knew someone...they might figure out who you were talking about. And now that everyone I know knows where I work...not worth it. We actually had someone kicked out of the program my last semester just for checking into a clinical site on FB. It doesn't sound like you'll be removed from your program, but just use this as a learning experience and don't post ANYTHING about clinical days again, aside from a "yay, had a great day, finally placed an NG tube" or something like that.
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    Good day:

    Facebook may be implementing forced GPS location to its posts; where your geographic location may be included in each post without regard to whether you want such information published.

    In those cases, using FB at work or in school can cause more trouble than any value gained.

    Thank you.
    Altra, Hygiene Queen, and GrnTea like this.
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    As a current nursing student and a current LPN, I see both sides of this story. What you did post was highly unprofessional. While I don't think you broke HIPAA you did put a dent in it. Just IMO. I also understand that you just wanted to share your experience with your FB family/friends. We all are proud of this profession and want to brag on ourselves from to time but we all need to learn how to brag on ourselves. You should've said something like "great day in clinical's!" Or maybe "got great hands on experience today!" The best thing you can do is learn your lesson. You may want to think how your FB friends will think of you as a nurse for posting things like that too. Would you trust a nurse who's FB has status updates similar to the one you posted? Always think twice before posting anything!!
    Sun0408 likes this.
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    In the OP's situation, the FB post is most clearly not a HIPAA violation. The FB post is, most definitely, inappropriate and unprofessional. Without identifying information, it is not a HIPAA violation, however, the post may have been a violation of policy of the facility/school. HIPAA does not cover "unprofessional" acts, but rather those that acts that result in confidential information made public. For example:

    "Yuck, today at work I saw maggots crawling out of someone's vagina." (Sorry if this is too graphic.) Not a HIPAA violation because of a lack of identifying information. If, however, I posted this on FB, I may be fired as this violates my hospital's social media policy.

    OTOH, I could post "Saw Icabod Issacs today. Hope I get the chance to see him under better circumstances...no when he is a patient in the ER." Generally non-offensive, but a huge HIPAA violation since personal information was disclosed.

    As a rule, I never post about work on FB...nothing! Not even "Wow, I had a great day at work." Even though what you post may not be a HIPAA violation your school, employer, prospective employers, etc. may be able to see those posts and who knows how even the most innocent post may become twisted.
    Hygiene Queen and GrnTea like this.
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    Quote from Stephalump
    Your post was absolutely unprofessional and inappropriate, but none of your school's business without any kind of patient info/location.
    It may not be the school's business, but suppose the OP goes to apply for a job as an RN after school. The facility to which she applies "researches" her on FB and this post comes up. Before they have even met her, this facility now has a not so positive view of the OP and it can very negatively effect her chances of getting a job. So, no the FB post is not a HIPAA violation, but it still may paint the OP in a poor light.
    carakristin1 likes this.
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    Social media in the workplace especially in medicine is huge. They may just want to make an example out of you and take you out of the program. If it was me I would just think the worst but hope for the best. Almost every class I am taking right now discusses HIPPA violations and social media in some way and they always try and mention a story of one student who did "something" and got kicked out to try and show student it can happen to you. The way it was explained to me is this, even if you are discussing your experience that happened in the work place (not mentioning ANY names only what happened etc) there could be someone on facebook or other sites who knows that person or knows someone that happened to and put 2 & 2 together. This has happened in the past. Another example would be discussing your clients (patients) cases with your significant other or a friend. Even though they do not know who it was someone can over hear your discussions and know that person. Confidentiality is key. Im not saying dont ever discuss your line of work with anyone but you have to be VERY careful these days.

    I would honestly do anything to stay in the program, why dont you try mentioning to them that you werent properly educated on what you can or cannot do/say regarding social media?? With all due respect it sounds like you may not have been and that would give them the opportunity to reevaluate their program and teaching methods regarding issues like these... If you did not know it really is not your fault they are supposed to teach you these things.
  10. 0
    I think about it like this, yes you didn't mention names, but think about what you wrote, very unprofessional. If you read that on someone else fb status, would you want that person as your nurse? I know I wouldn't! Things are embarrassing enough for some pts without their nurses making fun of them, especially on fb!! And you don't know who knows who that would see that post, someone may know someone in a hiring position and warn them off of you. I'm not saying non of us have never made comments about experiences (i know i have), but most definitely not on fb. The world is a lot smaller then you realize and even though you don't mention names, people generally know where your clinical hospital could be, and things get figured out very easily. Future employees and current ones constantly look up their employees on fb and the way fb is ALWAYS changing their privacy setting, you never really know what can been seen and what can't be. We were told in our school, put absolutely nothing good or bad, your much safer that way. A girl last semester got kicked out because when she was at the hospital doing her pt research, a nurse walked by and she was on her cell phone talking while she was looking at a pts chart. She was on the phone with her clinical teacher, but it didn't matter, it was the potential of privacy breach, or perceived that way anyways and the fact that she didn't think about it!
    Like everyone else said, own it, apologize and take whatever they hand you and think about what you post before you do next time. Turn this into a learning experience.


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