Nurse Posts About a Patient on Facebook ... Duty to Report?

  1. 0
    Question for you all:

    If a nurse posts a Facebook status about their patient, blatantly mocking the reason for their admission (i.e., an embarrassing reason), most people would agree this is a HIPAA violation even if the patient was not ID'ed by name.

    But do fellow nurses have a duty to report this nurse in any way to management or to the state BON?
  2. 50 Comments so far...

  3. 8
    I don't think we are mandated HIPAA violation reporters.

    I'd just give this "friend" a heads up and tell him/her their status may violate HIPPA.
    PatchycatRN, veggie530, poppycat, and 5 others like this.
  4. 4
    This person is no longer a friend (Facebook or otherwise) by my choice, as my attempts to discuss this were "dismissed."
  5. 2
    I don't know the answer to the legal question.

    But as to a moral obligation ... I think you do have an obligation to report her to her employer (if that is feasable). She is hurting that patient and is likely to hurt others if nobody stops her. If you see somebody hurting other people, don't you feel like you have a moral obligation (if not legal one) to say something about it? Would you similarly ignore a robbery? a physical assault? child abuse? etc. Where to you draw the line when it comes to stopping someone from hurting some innocent victim?
    poppycat and nursel56 like this.
  6. 1
    Additional advice about what not to post on social media:

    Anonymous865 likes this.
  7. 1
    YOU're not a mandatory HIPAA reported but your hospital can be in big trouble if that gets back to the patient, lawyer, or heirs... and if they pay a hefty fine, it could impact the bottom line enough that bad things can happen. Make an anonymous report to your institution's risk manager office. They will take it from there.
    jadelpn likes this.
  8. 0
    I agree with reporting to the individual's boss or the employer's HR/risk management folks, and let them decide how to handle it (I would usually say to discuss it with the individual first, but you noted you've already done that).
  9. 0
    Risk management. BUT if the person doesn't have the hospital name that they work at on their facebook page, then in fact, she could be talking about anything. Shows poor character, for sure. But unless she has "Mercy Memorial Hospital ER RN" for her job listed, I am not sure what if anything can be done. But I would pass it by your risk manager, and see what they say.
  10. 0
    Some LTC and home health agencies now monitor their employees facebook pages for Hippa violations. we just had a cna get fired for posting about a patient.
  11. 1
    I am astonished by the things that could potentially be related back to a patient. I think it is never appropriate to mention anything related to patients or patient care. It is absolutely unprofessional and could land you in deep trouble with BON. I think that we will see more nurses being disciplined for postings on social media.
    IowaKaren likes this.


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