HIPAA violation?

Updated | Posted
by Nursey444 Nursey444 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in OB. Has 26 years experience.

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I’m needing advice on this issue. The only reason I am asking is that I’m not sure if this is a HIPAA violation. A co worker of mine has videos and pictures of this patient on her personal cell phone. I know this because she showed me. The patient is not identified, however, she is showing it to people who have nothing to do with the case. I don’t know if this makes me culpable as well. I didn’t say anything to her and kinda quickly went on to another topic when she showed me because I was shocked and a bit taken back by this action. 
here is my question, do I report her? 

PDRN

PDRN

Specializes in ER / ICU. Has 21 years experience. 29 Posts

Yes. Completely inappropriate, context not needed. Think of it as if it were you, or your family member...would you mind? I'm guessing yes. Pics on a work phone a different thing, but her personal phone, not cool.

Enarra

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 10 years experience. 146 Posts

uh yes it is a HIPPA violation a major one.  She better delete that video fast and hope she didn't post it online nowhere because once it spreads theres no taking it back.   I just finished studying the topic on HIPPA and ethics.  If this leaks out she can get fired and even have her license in danger of being pulled, along with fines, and other criminal charges.

You? that's an ethical decision that is up to you to make ... report her there will be serious reprecusssions for her but if you don't she'll continue doing it. etc and etc.  I don't know what to tell you to do.   Maybe the community has some advice but ultimately its your decision

Edited by Enarra

Beausoleil

46 Posts

Have you reported her, yet? 

RnSleepy

RnSleepy

Specializes in Medicine, General Surgery, Ortho, Emergency medici. Has 12 years experience. 2 Posts

While this is inappropriate, there’s more context needed. Is it a video of them while under care or jut a public video (like something on Youtube). One is a violation while the other isn’t. 

nancynurse12

nancynurse12, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 39 years experience. 20 Posts

Definitely a Hippa violation and you are required to report it.  She can take all of you down as colluding with her. Don’t you have to sign an oath or have training regarding this?

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 8,058 Posts

While it very likely may a violation of the organization's privacy policies, HIPAA is not a catch-all term for the ethical and policy requirements related to privacy that employers and other entities might require.  In order to be a HIPAA violation the pictures or videos would need to include some sort of patient identifier, ie something that someone viewing the picture or video could use to identify the patient.  

Orca, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 27 years experience. 2,066 Posts

The sources that I have read all say that it is a violation of HIPAA. For example,

An emergency room employee who snaps a photo and posts it to social media to show how busy it is would represent a HIPAA violation, as people in the photo may be recognizable. 

The same thing applies here.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 8,058 Posts

55 minutes ago, Orca said:

The sources that I have read all say that it is a violation of HIPAA. For example,

An emergency room employee who snaps a photo and posts it to social media to show how busy it is would represent a HIPAA violation, as people in the photo may be recognizable. 

The same thing applies here.

Photos with faces are identifiable, although in OP's description the patient "is not identified".  Presuming that means there is nothing in the photo that reveals the patient's identity.