Is this a HIPAA violation

  1. I have a friend that is pretty sure a Hippa violation happened to her. She was getting ready to go to college last year and two days before she was going she got a shot of Rocephin IM for a sinus infection. She went into anaphlactic shock and almost died. She was in the hospital in her home town for 4 days. She had a very hard time and was diagnosed with PTSD. In May she was admitted to the hospital in the town where her college is for depression narcotic addiction. She was in there a week and with counseling has done awesome. That month she moved into an apartment where she met a girl that lived upstairs. They were friends until my friend moved out of that apartment and into the soriety house. This girl that lived upstairs didn't like my friend anymore since she joined the soriety. For the next six months this girl was real mean to my friend when ever she saw her. This girl worked at the same hospital my friend was hospitilzed for the depression. This girl was always calling my friend and text messaging her that she was going to tell everyone why she was in the hospital. My friend was scared because she didn't want anyone to know. About a month ago this girl was at the same club as my friend and followed her into the bathroom. She grabbed my friend around the neck and said "I'm going to tell everyone why you were in the hospital b---and everyone will know you are psycho and a drug addict. You can't get me in trouble and will have no proof i've told anyone." My friend went to the police station and reported the assault. They said this girl just committed a big Hippa violation and wanted her to talk to the people at the hospital. She is scared and doesn't know what to do. She said when she was friends with this girl that she would always tell her why patients were admitted there and would have charts of different patients at her apartment. At the time she didn't know why this girl would have them since she isn't a nursing student. Anyway, my friend doesn't know what to do. Is this a Hippa violation?
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    About avalynn

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 10

    48 Comments

  3. by   ceecel.dee
    At the very LEAST!
  4. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from avalynn
    I have a friend that is pretty sure a Hippa violation happened to her. She was getting ready to go to college last year and two days before she was going she got a shot of Rocephin IM for a sinus infection. She went into anaphlactic shock and almost died. She was in the hospital in her home town for 4 days. She had a very hard time and was diagnosed with PTSD. In May she was admitted to the hospital in the town where her college is for depression narcotic addiction. She was in there a week and with counseling has done awesome. That month she moved into an apartment where she met a girl that lived upstairs. They were friends until my friend moved out of that apartment and into the soriety house. This girl that lived upstairs didn't like my friend anymore since she joined the soriety. For the next six months this girl was real mean to my friend when ever she saw her. This girl worked at the same hospital my friend was hospitilzed for the depression. This girl was always calling my friend and text messaging her that she was going to tell everyone why she was in the hospital. My friend was scared because she didn't want anyone to know. About a month ago this girl was at the same club as my friend and followed her into the bathroom. She grabbed my friend around the neck and said "I'm going to tell everyone why you were in the hospital b---and everyone will know you are psycho and a drug addict. You can't get me in trouble and will have no proof i've told anyone." My friend went to the police station and reported the assault. They said this girl just committed a big Hippa violation and wanted her to talk to the people at the hospital. She is scared and doesn't know what to do. She said when she was friends with this girl that she would always tell her why patients were admitted there and would have charts of different patients at her apartment. At the time she didn't know why this girl would have them since she isn't a nursing student. Anyway, my friend doesn't know what to do. Is this a Hippa violation?
    Yes, she is violating HIPPA. Irregardless of how she came across patient information/charts, she HAS ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS relaying information regarding patients or their hospitalization. She certainly has no business trying to use that information to threaten and intimidate.
  5. by   HeartsOpenWide
    In the worst way possible, this is the clearest hippa violation I have ever heard of. Maybe your friend should turn the tables...Personal hippa fines can be up to fifty thousand dollars...
  6. by   balutpinoysabutuan
    divulging information without permission is a BIG HIPPA VIOLATION!!!:angryfire especially when someone is taking patient's chart in their home
  7. by   RN1263
    i'm a rn student, not a nurse YET, but the whole situation seems "bizarre" to me????

    she can call the state board of nursing in her state and report it?
  8. by   saphira
    YUP!!!!!! It's a violation and illegal. And you should tell your friend to report it. Did she save any of the written/text messaged stuff? If she did, she needs to take that to them, too.
  9. by   MS._Jen_RN
    Also, if your friend never told this girl why she was there and the girl found out by looking in her record that is a violation (if she wasn't treating her). In my facility this is a fireable offence.
    ~Jen
  10. by   Jesskanurse
    Can't help this... it's just a pet peeve of mine.

    It's HIPAA, not HIPPA.

    Ok carry on!
  11. by   dacryocystitis
    Yes, it is a HIPAA violation! I would definitely have her contact the state board of nursing to report it.

    If your friend did not save the text messages, maybe the cell phone company somehow has a record of this on a large server. Or possibly the messages are stored on some chip in the phone???? I have no idea if this is the case, but I would look into it.
  12. by   mugwump
    I'll probably get a lot of people to disagree with me are parts of your story agains hippa absolutly. But about you specifically I think maybe not. If your ex-friend, ex-roomate ( pshyco person ) got the information strictly from work then yes, but if part of being your friend and roomates this was common knowlege that she knew from living with you then I would say no. For instance if my best friend was trying to get pregant and taking fertility meds and she told me and i was talking about it with other people then I don't belive it would be a hippa violation becaue I did not get the information from my exposer to her medical record (or health information) however if she hadn't told me and I happend to read her chart at work either because she was a patinet I was taking care of or I had spyed on her than yes It would be. Granted as a "professional" she should know better and act more professional.
  13. by   babynurselsa
    HMMMM I think this is yet another case of wishing for the proverbial 10 foot pole smiley.
    There are more than a couple of statements in this post I find a bit over the top.
  14. by   avalynn
    Thanks to those of you that replied to me. If someone of you think I am the person I'm writing about you are wrong. My friend is in nursing school along with me but we haven't really started the nursing part. We are just in our general studies. If we were in the nursing part I'm sure we know about Hipaa so we wouldn't have to ask this question. My friend only confided in me because her parent's are her other sister in California helping her set up her new dental practice. She didn't want to worry them out there so she sat me down last night and asked me what she thought she should do. My mom is a nurse and comes to this board so I thought I would ask you nurses. I wanted to ask my mom but my friend is so embarrassed over her hospitalization that she didn't want me to. My friend told me that she never has told anyone other than her parents(who were with her) and her two sisters. Plus, she said this girl always tells her that she has seen her medical records and she know she was in the hospital for depression and addiction. She is going to go to the hospital tomorrow and talk to the person in charge of Hipaa violations. She said she is tired of this being held over her head and is having a hard time concentrating at school. I just told her she has nothing to be ashamed of but for some reason she is. I think I will ask my mom about it and just leave out my friends name as soon as she gets off of work. She works 3-11 so she should be home soon. I will update you after she goes to the hospital. I may go with her for support if she'll let me. Thanks for the replies. I have shown all of them to her.

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