HIPAA violation or just a bad decision? - page 2

i have a question that may seem like a homework assignment but this is not. i'm concerned that a individual, that is a rn, may have made a big mistake. a nurse that is an assistant manager of a picu... Read More

  1. by   nicenurselpn
    I too am the mother of a child who had a severe disabling genetic disorder. If I ever had gotten wind of his nurse taking his picture and making fun of his disorder and then sending it to other people. Her head would have been rolling down the road!!! As a nurse myself, this sickens me to think that she is trusted to take care of a children who are very ill and she makes fun of them? Those children did not ask to be born the way they were born. More then anything they need compassion and love. Not someone to make fun of them who is an adult!!
  2. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    My niece, who suffered a rare genetic disorder, died this past December. She spent most of her short, tortured life in the hands of Nurses and Caregivers. All the staff I witnessed were extremely professional, and earnestly seemed to care.

    She was a little miracle, and I MISS HER TERRIBLY, her mother and father are still crushed, and barely scraping by. She made it to age 5 never walking, never taking a bite. She had therapy workers and home healthcare workers coming all hours each day. Medical Staff meetings were common at their table, while her mom tried to keep her life as normal as possible.

    As a child of 5, she had the exact intelligence of a child her age. She was precious. She loved music, and one song she loved makes me tear-up everytime it plays. She loved Blues Clues and Dora. She loved her family. She had a glow about her.

    One of the RNs at the hospital filed her SSN on her tax returns thinking that my niece's family wouldn't know they could file her for 2011 secondary to her death. It was the ultimate slap in the face. It was an atrocity. The tax money has still not been given to the family.

    There are monsters among us, and it is our duty to find them and see them out of our profession. If I worked with this nurse, and didn't report her, I would consider myself just as guilty and sick.

    This thread really touched a nerve with me. I'm no polyana, but there is no room for this sickness. It is an abomination. I even hope that Karma doesn't get them, because that's how bad I view these kinds of actions against humans in OUR "CARE."

    There is NO excuse for these actions. Zero Tolerance for Cruelty from "Caregivers!"
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Apr 2, '12
  3. by   RNforLongTime
    Hipaa violation no doubt!
  4. by   MomRN0913
    The person who did this is worried about there consequences? They should be more worried about the kind of human being they are, not if they are going to get in trouble. She should be ashamed to look in the mirror.

    I hope she loses her license and cannot even get a job outside of nursing.
  5. by   rita359
    Employer should find out and fire this employee forthwith!!
  6. by   Sparrowhawk
    HIPAA is defintely the least of her worries....isnt sendign of pictures of children illegal no matter if they're porn or not? ESP with no parental permission? Girl is in hot water..tell your friend to report her immediately and fear no retribution...I would hope others she sent it to would report her as well, btu yes if this was my child or a child I knew... I would need bail money.
  7. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    Nurses should NEVER take pics of patients. Point, blank, period.
  8. by   tokmom
    Quote from sailornurse
    As a professional healthcare worker, we have a duty to report, to be pt advocates.
    Yes, i'm well aware of this. But if i'm sent a picture and I turn the sender into management, why would I get in trouble?What the receivers are worried about is busting their friend and Co worker, is my thought.The Op did not say how much time has lapsed from the time the pictures were taken.
  9. by   PrayToTheUnicorn
    If you receive this kind of picture, and don't report it, then you are almost as disgusting as the sender. It would look very bad if it is reported by someone else and it comes out later on that you were a recipient and did not report it as well.
  10. by   Esme12
    I am praying that this is a school question. My mind is reeling that ANYONE, let alone a medical professional, would think this is acceptable, or funny by any stretch of the imagination. I am just sitting here shaking my head.....unbelievable.

    Of course this is a HIPAA violation . Identifiers are not only a patient's name. If they can be identified by the picture (you know who is in the picture) that is a violation of HIPAA. Now, you also get into criminal charges for invasion of privacy and taking/sending pictures of a minor. Whether or not they are a felony depends on your particular state. NO Nursing Board would condone this behavior and falls under unprofessional conduct by the very least. My brain is still reeling that anyone would think this is a good idea......but then to poke fun? How old are they 2 ? Jeeze.....

    Every nursing board deals with mandated reporting differently and the requirement of the nurses to report. But many do include the "failure to report" that when proven ............is a punishable offense. Not to mention that they are in possession of a child's picture, taken with out parental consent that is able to be considered possession of child pornography.

    All that aside, whomever receives these picture is morally obligated to report this individual. HIPAA is controlled by the branch of our government called The Department of Health and Human Services. Health Information Privacy and to file a complaint...How To File a Complaint.

    If that was my employee and I found out? They would be immediately fired. They would be reported to the BON. I would report it to the government personally. ANYONE in the profession knows this is WAY wrong and how others have been fired, had their licenses revoked or suspended and have been repeatedly warned what NOT to do, so if they do it they should not be suprised at suffering the consequences.

    If that was my child....... they would live to regret that decision. I would see them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and then some.

    ps. Boston.......I'm sorry for your loss...
  11. by   aconn82
    HIPAA violation 100%!!

    As far as the 180 days go, the nurse who sent the picture can not get in trouble by the Dept of Health and Human Service after 180 days after the picture was sent, however; there is NO TIME LIMIT with the BON. I am going through the same thing right now. When I delievered my daughter in Nov 2011 a coworker (also a nurse) violated my and my daughters HIPAA rights and I had to make sure to have my paperwork for the Dept of Health and Human services sent before the 180 days were up.

    At the very least, the nurse should lose her job!
  12. by   Double-Helix
    I don't think the OP was referring to getting in trouble for reporting it. She said that if you are sent the picture, don't report it, and someone later finds out you knew about it, can you get in trouble?

    OP, the answer is yes. If you know that someone is doing illegal or unethical activities against hospital policy and do not report it then you can get in trouble. It doesn't mean that there has to be a law that says you must report it. If your workplace finds that you have done something to compromise the integrity of the facility (including not reporting illegal actions) then you can be disciplined, fired, etc. at their discretion. It doesn't mean you will go to jail or lose your license, but there are certainly consequences.

    Yes, it is a HIPAA violation. HIPAA requires patient consent for the release of identifiable information, including patient photography beyond the purposes of billing and treatment. Patient Photography, Videotaping, and Other Imaging (Updated)
  13. by   JustBeachyNurse
    We have a duty o report. Your friend can mitigate any potential damage by reporting what she's received/knows now. They may be lenient if she admits her fear in reporting up front. If her hospital has a semi-anonymous corporate compliance line she should call to report and for advice. Just like a facility might not face fines or repercussions for reporting & attempting to remediate a situation, your friend may have the same protections. (I'm not a legal expert on HIPAA )