Posting resident info on Facebook

  1. I work at a small residential facility. Another employee- I'll call her Jane- lists our workplace on her Facebook and frequently posts comments about having a hard shift and "humorous" nursing cartoons, although we are not nurses. Recently Jane posted her Facebook location as being at the local hospital- using the hospital name- and when people asked what was going on, she replied by giving the initials of the resident she was there with (she was on the clock accompanying the resident). Another employee commented that she had been wondering how "she" (the resident) was doing. Jane then announced that the resident was being admitted, and hopefully they would find out what the issue was.

    There is only one resident there with those initials. Was this a HIPAA violation? Thanks for any info on this!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Yes, it was a HIPAA violation. Jane could lose her job and be assessed large fines.

    In this day and age, it is profoundly stupid to mention anything about your job or even where you work on social media.
  4. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from deeCNA2013
    I work at a small residential facility. Another employee- I'll call her Jane- lists our workplace on her Facebook and frequently posts comments about having a hard shift and "humorous" nursing cartoons, although we are not nurses. Recently Jane posted her Facebook location as being at the local hospital- using the hospital name- and when people asked what was going on, she replied by giving the initials of the resident she was there with (she was on the clock accompanying the resident). Another employee commented that she had been wondering how "she" (the resident) was doing. Jane then announced that the resident was being admitted, and hopefully they would find out what the issue was.

    There is only one resident there with those initials. Was this a HIPAA violation? Thanks for any info on this!
    Anywhere I have worked this would have been grounds for immediate termination - we are not allowed to have our cellular devices while we are working.

    Hppy
  5. by   JKL33
    Yes, this action violates the very spirit of HIPAA.
  6. by   deeCNA2013
    Thank you all so much for the replies and clarification. I was quite sure this was a HIPAA violation, but wanted to asked people with more education and experience than myself before taking this further. I am reporting this to my manager on Monday- I took screenshots of the FB page in case it suddenly disappears when attention is called to it. Jane displays bad judgement in many other areas, and I'm not the only person that is concerned. Hopefully this will be taken care of properly, but at least I'll know I didn't sit back and ignore it.
  7. by   Apple-Core
    Good Grief. YEs it's a HIPPA violation. I cannot understand this burning desire to put everything on social media. It is beyond immature. I fear for our future generations.
  8. by   akulahawkRN
    Unless that resident/patient has given express consent to having his/her info posted anywhere in public (including Facebook) then that likely very much IS a HIPAA violation as it likely wouldn't be too difficult to determine who the employee is posting about. While I do occasionally post about work at the hospital and the fact that I'm in the ED, I do NOT post specifics about patients. What I *might* do is say that I had a great day, tough day, rough day, or whatever and perhaps that I took patients to the floor or the ICU or that I had a an interesting mix of patients or an incredibly demanding group... but you'd never be able to guess (or even determine) an identity from what I post. Why? It's always about me and my relationship with this horrible 4-letter thing called work.
  9. by   ponymom
    Jane is a dumbas......
  10. by   deeCNA2013
    Thanks for all your replies, and confirmation that this was a valid issue. I am disgusted to say that Jane is still working at my company. When I reported the FB post, I was thanked and told it would be handled. Jane's FB page subsequently disappeared for a few days, then reappeared WITH the offending post still on it! Maybe the powers that be noticed this, because a few days later, the post was gone. As for punishment, Jane may have been suspended for a couple days because she was out for a bit following my report. Other than that, I don't think anything was done. I really don't know of any other company that would allow this, short staffed or not.
    Thanks for "listening" to my little rant!
    Last edit by deeCNA2013 on Nov 16 : Reason: Spelling, correct wording
  11. by   JKL33
    Appropriate advice for this stage seems to be what my mom would call "Worry About Your Own Backyard."

  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from deeCNA2013
    Thanks for all your replies, and confirmation that this was a valid issue. I am disgusted to say that Jane is still working at my company. When I reported the FB post, I was thanked and told it would be handled. Jane's FB page subsequently disappeared for a few days, then reappeared WITH the offending post still on it! Maybe the powers that be noticed this, because a few days later, the post was gone. As for punishment, Jane may have been suspended for a couple days because she was out for a bit following my report. Other than that, I don't think anything was done. I really don't know of any other company that would allow this, short staffed or not.
    Thanks for "listening" to my little rant!
    You don't really know what sort of punishment Jane received -- nor is it your business to know. Your manager thanked you and told you it would be handled; it's been handled.
  13. by   RNNPICU
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    You don't really know what sort of punishment Jane received -- nor is it your business to know. Your manager thanked you and told you it would be handled; it's been handled.
    I agree with Ruby Vee. It was handled now it is time to move on and not dwell. You do not need to know what was done or what reprimand was given or anything. You were thanked for raising the issue. Now it is time to move on to the more important tasks of work.
  14. by   deeCNA2013
    I'm sorry for not replying sooner- I thought I was the last one that posted so I didn't check back.

    I agree with you all- I did my part by reporting what I saw, and now it's no longer my concern. Don't dwell is exactly what I need to remind myself if I start thinking about this again. It's strange, I've never reported or complained about anyone in the several years I've worked there. I always thought it was kind of petty to go running to the supervisors about anything except true mistreatment of residents, which I thankfully have never seen. Anything else that bothered me- and not much usually bothers me- I would nicely bring it up to my coworker, so we could resolve things rather than getting anyone else involved. Funny that I just noticed your replies, because I realized after I wrote that last post that I was becoming pretty obsessed with something that's really not my business. I love my job, and my focus has always been, as it should be, on the residents. If I'm busy thinking about "Jane", it puts me in a negative state of mind.
    Thanks to everyone for reminding me to let this go ☺.

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