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HIPAA Question

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by easttnnurse1 easttnnurse1 (New Member) New Member

easttnnurse1 has 6 years experience .

164 Profile Views; 5 Posts

I have a HIPAA question that I can't seem to find an answer for so maybe you all can help. I have a student who's mother shared a medical diagnosis on social media. The incident had happened at school that day so several of us were aware of the potential and probable diagnosis. We are in the middle of state testing. I had several people screenshot and send me the mother's post which I then discussed with our testing coordinator, 504 coordinator and principal. We did an emergency 504 to put accomadations in place for the student for testing. Mother is now saying it was a HIPAA violation. I think she is wrong since she shared pubically, not us, and it was only discussed with those staff members who needed to know. Also, this was not discussed until after the MD note had been submitted to the office. 

Opinions? I can not find any information online about this scenario at all 

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

6 Followers; 1 Article; 4,768 Posts; 29,363 Profile Views

Are you saying you/the school formed a 504 committee and placed the student in 504 with no direct input from the parent other than screen shots you received from social media?

 

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KeeperOfTheIceRN has 4 years experience as a ADN.

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Let me see if I'm understanding correctly:

Student has episode at school. Mom then posts diagnosis on social media. People from the public then send you screenshots of said social media post with medical diagnosis. Was the diagnosis discussed with those that sent the screenshots? Then, mom sends MD note to school. Emergency 504 plan put in place after the note was turned in. Now mom is upset that the 504 plan is in place and feels HIPAA was violated because it was initiate?

I guess I'm confused on what "it" is that mom is saying was a HIPAA violation...

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easttnnurse1 has 6 years experience.

5 Posts; 164 Profile Views

Let me clarify... mom was aware of the 504 being put in place for the remainder of the school year. The medical diagnosis affects the students ability to write. We contacted mom and she agreed to the Emergency 504. 

Mom is saying that the information being shared is a HIPAA violation. One of the MANY people who sent the screen shot is an employee of another school who was also personal friends with the mother. This person knew I was the nurse where this student went. None of this was discussed with the people who sent the screenshots. 

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easttnnurse1 has 6 years experience.

5 Posts; 164 Profile Views

16 minutes ago, OldDude said:

Are you saying you/the school formed a 504 committee and placed the student in 504 with no direct input from the parent other than screen shots you received from social media?

 

No, we used the MD note to decide accomadations. Mom was aware of the 504 being drafted and has signed off on it. 

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KeeperOfTheIceRN has 4 years experience as a ADN.

1 Follower; 572 Posts; 7,273 Profile Views

13 minutes ago, easttnnurse1 said:

Let me clarify... mom was aware of the 504 being put in place for the remainder of the school year. The medical diagnosis affects the students ability to write. We contacted mom and she agreed to the Emergency 504. 

Mom is saying that the information being shared is a HIPAA violation. One of the MANY people who sent the screen shot is an employee of another school who was also personal friends with the mother. This person knew I was the nurse where this student went. None of this was discussed with the people who sent the screenshots. 

Oooook. This does not sound like a HIPAA violation to me either. Unfortunately, the general public is not bound by HIPAA. Not to mention, unless your school receives funding from the government for medical visits, then even you're not bound by HIPAA but rather FERPA. With that said, YOU did not violate either. Its crappy that people feel they can share any all information with everyone but on the flip side, the mom should have considered that when she decided to post something on a public forum such as social media. So unless you discussed the info with those that sent it or made an emergency 504 plan based off of the info that others sent, then I don't see how you violated any privacy acts. Is the mom threatening some kind of retaliation or something? Or is she just upset that the other people sent you the info?

Social media sucks. Sometimes ;)

 

Edited by KeeperOfTheIceRN
typo

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

6 Followers; 1 Article; 4,768 Posts; 29,363 Profile Views

thanks for the clarification...as far as you and your school are concerned there isn't any privacy violations; you didn't share with anyone who didn't have an appropriate reason to know. But what a cluster otherwise...

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easttnnurse1 has 6 years experience.

5 Posts; 164 Profile Views

That's how I feel as well. We will see how this all plays out, I guess... and yes, Social Media is the devil! 

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in kids.

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NAH...you did nothing wrong. Yeesh, some people like to complain all day every day!

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For the HIPAA Risk assessment, has anyone else used Medcurity? Been hearing very positive things around the community but we haven’t signed up. Our consultant charges a lot more though so considering it.

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lifelearningrn has 4 years experience as a RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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No HIPAA violation took place here.  The mom violated her child's privacy by posting his diagnosis to social media where she knows other parents and staff will see it. 

It would be a FERPA violation if you discussed said diagnosis and accommodation plans with the parents that shared the social media post with the school, which doesn't seem to be the case here.

 

You can print out a HIPAA information packet for parents and give it to her to read. That should put her accusations to rest.

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