I am a nursing student in my first year and recently came across a problem. I have a friend that has a care plan from a previous student. There is no information giving the identification of the patient on the care plan. He sent this care plan out via email to a few friends so we could use the care plan as a reference when writing our first care plans. One person responded to the thread, stating to disregard this care plan, that it is in violation of HIPAA. Being in my first year, I am still learning about HIPAA. Is it a violation of HIPAA if he gave this care plan to other students to use as a reference if it has absolutely no information that gives any one an idea of the patient's identity?