Essay on Implications of HIPPA Violations in Nursing

877 Words4 Pages
Employees within healthcare and anyone who has been a mature patient in recent years have been duly informed of the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPPA), but even more people are more intimately familiar with the social networking site Facebook. Prior to researching the legal and ethical boundaries at it pertains to patient confidentiality in nursing school, many of us thought little of the HIPPA concept and how it applies to each of us as individuals. We can announce to the world on Facebook that I have a lump, please go get a mammogram! We can whine on for ages about our children’s medical problems. We make announcements and call for prayers for our spouses and parents who are ill. We share with our friends and family,…show more content…
The medical professionals who were supposed to be caring for this dying patient failed to concentrate on his thoughtful care, and instead took a few photos of this gentleman and posted them on Facebook. Several of the staff lost their job and others disciplined for this cruel lack of integrity. In another incident in California at Tri-City Medical Center, nurses discussed patients on Facebook. While no job losses were reported, those involved were reported. Five nurses lost their employment by simply taking digital photos on their phones of a suicidal person and even snapping images of patient x-rays. Several reports have been made of nurse’s curiosity getting them in trouble by looking up records of celebrities. A contract nurse wound up seeking new employment for looking into records on patients not assigned to them at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, seeking information on those hurt in the shooting that injured congresswoman Giffords. A nursing student examining a placenta – if in the scope of the day’s assignment and thus presumed appropriate, is one thing, but crossed a huge threshold when photographed and posted on Facebook. The consequence was large, kicked out of nursing school and a subsequent lawsuit.
The punishments for sharing patient information via any means of communication can range from undisclosed disciplinary action by the nurses employer to having their job terminated. There is also the possibility the
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