HIPAA breach

by ForeverYoung018 ForeverYoung018 (New) New Nurse

I had a meeting with the head of security. A former coworker of mine had filed a complaint to the Federal Government accusing another coworker and I of posting patient photos and patient updates on social media. Her complaint was completely false, but has left me fearful. I had to submit screen shots of anything I've ever posted about work, which basically consisted of funny memes, me boasting about my coworkers being the best, and posting funny things patients have said or did. However, those statuses were so vague, no one would be able to tell who I'm talking about. I have never posted pictures of patients on social media and don't even put pictures of me at work on social media unless we are at an outing. I also don't have it posted where I work on social media. The girl making the accusations was someone who was always looking to get someone in trouble and very arrogant. The company I work for is handling the response back to the government and stated the evidence I provided was not concerning and did not violate anything. However, I am so upset that she would even file a false claim against me potentially ruining my career. Has anyone been falsely accused of this? I am livid!

Edited by ForeverYoung018

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 13 years experience. 3,878 Posts

I don't have any words of wisdom about this particular situation, and I hope it works out well for you.

However, let this be a warning to others--just don't post anything at all about work. Period. Even saying "it was a tough day at work" or "this one patient today...." can be taken out of context. Just stay away from it!



14 Posts

I have definitely learned my lesson and will never post about work again.

Persephone Paige, ADN

Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 696 Posts

I am older. And although I do have a FB page, it cannot be linked to me with my picture, name or email address. I make no people from work my 'friends' and the only statuses I ever post about work are how happy I am it's my day off. And I do not have where I work listed...

I understand that what separates me from this generation is quite a few years and wrinkles and about 40 lbs. But every time I read a post like this, I'm convinced I'm better off.

It doesn't sound like you've done anything wrong, but let this serve as a lesson. Never poop where you eat.... I'm not trying to be gross. If your coworkers are privy to anything about your private life, you are taking a risk.


iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience. 2,773 Posts

It's kind of odd you had to come up with all the things you have posted.It seems like of they are making an accusation and/or investigating than the burden should be on them to prove it! If you did nothing there is no need to be concerned and you are just dealing with a mean and vindictive person.What is your and your coworkers history with this person and whyis she so intent on "getting you".Thinking back is there anything you could have done differently ? One thing is to identify those people you can not trust and keep your business private.Yes ....this person is trying to cause you grief and there should be some kind of consequence if she is filing false claims.I too would be livid and honestly I would be entertaining some thoughts of payback.I probably would never act on those thoughts because people like this create their own misery and tend to be miserable small people anyway.So rest assured she will get hers!


Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,071 Posts

On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 10:27 PM, ForeverYoung018 said:

I had to submit screen shots of anything I've ever posted about work

That is like being accused of a crime and the prosecutor asking you to submit anything that might incriminate you. The burden of proof should be on them.


Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 16 years experience. 1,476 Posts

This is one of many reasons why I do not have social media at all.

bsyrn, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor. Has 23 years experience. 810 Posts

This is why I never, ever post anything about work!


morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

get a lawyer, yesterday.



366 Posts

You should look into whether the accuser violated any laws by making her false accusation. Most governmental bodies that accept complaints/accusations from the public have a lot of regulations and laws requiring that the complaint is made in good faith. If it can be demonstrated that it was a false accusation, the accuser could likely face criminal and civil liability. I believe that defamation could be an issue at the very least.


AngelfireRN, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in med-surg, psych, ER, school nurse-CRNP. Has 15 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,288 Posts

I had this happen to me once, same thing. A patient who was not accepted as a patient at the pain clinic I worked at literally Facebook stalked me and cut/copy/pasted a document together from various posts that of themselves, said nothing of import but were then pieced together to look incriminating.

I was not asked to submit anything and I let the person at the Board know that I would NOT be granting them access to my Facebook page without a subpoena and my lawyer's advice. Even he said that the document 'looked weird' and that the person who filed the complaint obviously misunderstood the power of the Board because they were saying that I 'needed to be fired', like that was under their jurisdiction.

Now, with my own clinic, I post about work frequently. Closings, announcements, etc. Patients will tag me or the clinic, but that originates from them. Anything else, I have written permission to post from the patient, if they request that something be posted.

I agree with making inquiry to ascertain if you have legal recourse. I did and it was dealt with summarily. She still tries to contact me but is blocked. I don't play that game.

I agree that asking you to submit posts is bothersome. I'd have refused unless I was directed to comply by legal counsel, but that is based on opinion.

Good luck to you, hon. That's a rough thing to deal with.

Gosh I would be furious. I hope she gets her own license taken away if indeed she is making it all up! No person with such a mentality like hers should be priviledge with a nursing license.

Can you imagine if she was a state surveyor? Probably pull out crap from her a** to incriminate people for pleasure.