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Old 01-25-2013, 09:35 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by badblackpug View Post
I do hope you all realize that different places do operate differently, some are more employee friendly than others. It's just a fact of life. ...and yes, theoretically, if you didn't do anything wrong, then, no, you shouldn't have anything to worry about, but there is still the stress of being involved in an investigation.

...and yes, my last employer, would, and did, have people who would contact you at home. It would not be an inquisition, but they would, definitely, try to worm whatever info they could out of you. They would be very polite, act very concerned, but they would still do it, because they are very, very worried about being sued. This is also an institution that will send anyone who complains about any petty thing a Target or Wawa gift card. Yes, even if you complain the blanket left lint on your black pants, or you didn't like the choice of television programming in the lobby (which, BTW, was CNN)

I am just of the mindset that jobs are hard to come by, and that before I would jeopardize someone's professional reputation I would be darn sure that there was a basis to do so.

Not to mention I have no desire to feed into, or be involved with, high school drama. Trust me, if all those kids that have dropped the OP's son as a friend, or who are already harassing him get wind of this, it will be worse. That would be especially a shame if it was all over nothing.

I would approach the mother first.
But again, if the mother did not access the chart, she would not be involved in any investigation that the hospital might do.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:37 PM   #107
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...and, yes, it is true. If you file ANY complaint, the nurse manager of the department will call you, or email, or whatever your preferred method of contact is. It moves up the chain from there if they feel they haven't resolved the situation. It isn't harassing. They call with "concern." "We are concerned about...." "We want to make sure you are not upset about..." "We wanted to discuss and make sure XXX is resolved..." "We want to know if there is anything we can do about..."

It happens every day. They read the Press-Gainey survey results, and they contact from there. Someone comes in and says, "My son was a patient in XXX department, and I would like his records to see accessed his chart." It will go right to the manager who would contact you, "making sure there is nothing we can do to help..." and it might move up from there.

It may not be the way you, or your job handles things, but, trust me, been there, done that, it happens.
The simple response to multiple inquiries is "I'd appreciate it if you'd just fulfill my request as to letting me know who accessed myson's chart".

Just because someone asks you a question doesn't mean you have to answer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:58 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by hiwaygal View Post
This, again!

Even if it is just something the girl made up, it's likely that she has no idea about HIPPA and her mother needs to explain it to her.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:21 AM   #109
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I'm seeking unbiased advice here!

My DS 15 was hit in the head at school by another student. The hit was intentional. DS was confused and could not remember details from his day, but he never lost consciousness. Because of his symptoms, we took him to the ER. They did a CT which was clear, but the ER doctor said he had a mild concussion and should not do PE for two weeks and could stay home from school for 5 days (she wrote him an absence excuse).

He returned to school the next day and took his final exams because he did not want to put them off until after the holidays, but still felt lousy for a few more days.

We and his teachers reported the incident to the school, so the guy who hit him was punished according to school policy. This incident has caused quite a bit of personal trouble for DS because a couple the kids who were his friends no longer speak to him; they blame him for the kid getting in trouble. But we are dealing with that!

Now, about a month after this incident, DS heard from another student (who knows all the kids involved) that her mother, who is an ER doctor at a different hospital and who has never treated my son, accessed his CT records and determined that it was not a "medical concussion" because the CT did not show scarring, that the doctor at that the original ER did not know what she was doing, and that my DS is a "baby."

I am upset that she was looking at his records when she had no business doing so and that she told her daughter about this as well.

Does anyone have advice about what I should do? Should I report this to the hospital? To the federal government as a HIPAA violation? Any thoughts?

Thanks.
If the child is telling the truth about his mother it is indeed a HIPAA violation and the hosptial should be contacted. I would imagine they have electronic medical files...so they will be able to see who has viewed his medical records. Contact the hosptial HIPAA/privacy officer.

I have been a RN/NP in the hospital setting for 13 years (mostly in ER) and you would be very suprised to know actually how many health care providers access medical records of patients they are not caring for! We aren't even allowed to access our own personal records where I work.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:45 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by badblackpug View Post

Just imagine if everyone believed every single thing one of our kids said about us?
Seriously!

As a former teacher, one of my mentors said that she would tell parents, "You believe about half of what your kid tells you happens at school, and I'll believe about half of what they tell me happens at home."

What ever happened to treating others the way you would want to be treated? I would welcome any parent to call me at any time if they had a question or concern about something my child said or did whether it was regarding my personal or professional life. Especially my professional life.

Let's say the mom DID access the record (which I still doubt) and she is punished? You better believe that the daughter is going to hear about THAT to put it lightly. If she went around school blabbing about something that could get her mom in trouble then what makes you think she's not going to tell EVERYBODY that her mom did get in trouble? It's not a HIPAA violation to tell people that your mom got in trouble because Johnny's mom filed a complaint against her.

There's also the extremely likely chance that the mom didn't access the record, but is told that someone requested records because they believed that she did. If she didn't do it then the girl will most likely go around telling everyone how Johnny's mom "snitched" on her mom. Regardless of the outcome, I don't see either scenario making things easier on your son. I can see this making things worse for him at school though.

Is it fair? No. It's also not fair that bullies get away with being bullies because kids don't want to "snitch" and cause an even bigger problem. It's no fair that MANY people are molested and/or raped and choose not to report it because they don't want to deal with the aftermath. Sometimes getting justice isn't what's best for the victim's mental health.

Why don't you simply pick up the phone and call the mom? If you're not satisfied after speaking to her then the electronic record is still going to be there. It's not like she can go back and erase what happened, if anything happened at all.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:26 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by DisneyATlast View Post
Seriously!

Let's say the mom DID access the record (which I still doubt) and she is punished? You better believe that the daughter is going to hear about THAT to put it lightly. If she went around school blabbing about something that could get her mom in trouble then what makes you think she's not going to tell EVERYBODY that her mom did get in trouble? It's not a HIPAA violation to tell people that your mom got in trouble because Johnny's mom filed a complaint against her.

There's also the extremely likely chance that the mom didn't access the record, but is told that someone requested records because they believed that she did. If she didn't do it then the girl will most likely go around telling everyone how Johnny's mom "snitched" on her mom. Regardless of the outcome, I don't see either scenario making things easier on your son. I can see this making things worse for him at school though.

Why don't you simply pick up the phone and call the mom? If you're not satisfied after speaking to her then the electronic record is still going to be there. It's not like she can go back and erase what happened, if anything happened at all.
From reading the entire thread and hearing the opinion of the majority of people who work in health care and deal with HIPPA, I just don't see this happening at all. Talk about drama and gossip!! This is all handled anonymously, until they see proof in the files that it happened. After that? My guess is that the hospital will still choose to maintain anonymity for OP. ANd honestly, if Dr/mom broke the law, she broke the law: She should be punished for this violation.

The ONLY way to straighten this out is for OP to call the quality officer at the hospital and ask for a list of who has accessed her son's medical records. If this Dr./mom's name isn't on the list, the matter dies. If it IS, then OP can decide whether she wants to discuss it privately with Dr./mom or if she wants to file a complaint at the hospital. Personally, I'd file the complaint. If Dr/mom accessed a non-patient's medical record it's a huge HIPPA violation. What's to say this is the first, or only, time this would happen? Are you comfortable with the thought that perhaps YOUR medical records are "light reading" for someone who is interested and doesn't think she'll get caught? It also puts the medical facilities in a precarious position, because if this is happening, it will at some point come to light. The hospital will take this complaint seriously... IF OP finds out who accessed the record and IF Dr/mom is on the list.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:52 AM   #112
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From reading the entire thread and hearing the opinion of the majority of people who work in health care and deal with HIPPA, I just don't see this happening at all. Talk about drama and gossip!! This is all handled anonymously, until they see proof in the files that it happened. After that? My guess is that the hospital will still choose to maintain anonymity for OP. ANd honestly, if Dr/mom broke the law, she broke the law: She should be punished for this violation.

The ONLY way to straighten this out is for OP to call the quality officer at the hospital and ask for a list of who has accessed her son's medical records. If this Dr./mom's name isn't on the list, the matter dies. If it IS, then OP can decide whether she wants to discuss it privately with Dr./mom or if she wants to file a complaint at the hospital. Personally, I'd file the complaint. If Dr/mom accessed a non-patient's medical record it's a huge HIPPA violation. What's to say this is the first, or only, time this would happen? Are you comfortable with the thought that perhaps YOUR medical records are "light reading" for someone who is interested and doesn't think she'll get caught? It also puts the medical facilities in a precarious position, because if this is happening, it will at some point come to light. The hospital will take this complaint seriously... IF OP finds out who accessed the record and IF Dr/mom is on the list.
I agree with this advice. I think asking Dr./Mom directly is stupid. She won't admit guilt because if she does, she will probably be fired. Yes, fired. There really isn't a warning for intentional HIPAA violations. You just get fired.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #113
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I don't agree with not investigating because of some ramifications that could happen. If there were laws broken, there should be consequences. How are you going to know if you don't investigate? The plausibility runs both ways. The only definitive answer would be to investigate.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #114
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It sounds like, OP, all you have to do is request who accessed your son's records and look on the list and see if her name is on there. If it is, proceed, because there was no reason for her to look it up. If it is not, then, yay, she did not violate any laws.

THEN, and only then, would I even consider contacting the mother to tell her that you heard that her daughter said "XX" and if her saying this could cause problems for the mother and they need to have a talk.

I would not waste my breath calling her beforehand because she's going to lie, most likely, and cross her fingers that you do not look into the matter.

While I know not to believe everything a child says, that child knew a lot and that raises a read flag. Therefore, I'd be looking into it. Like many have said and I have said on this thread, it happens all to often. Like I have said, I've had people tell me they've done it. Not sure I would be telling others that if I did look at a patient's records! :O

Anyway, good luck with all this but my vote is to look into it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #115
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It sounds like, OP, all you have to do is request who accessed your son's records and look on the list and see if her name is on there. If it is, proceed, because there was no reason for her to look it up. If it is not, then, yay, she did not violate any laws.

THEN, and only then, would I even consider contacting the mother to tell her that you heard that her daughter said "XX" and if her saying this could cause problems for the mother and they need to have a talk.

I would not waste my breath calling her beforehand because she's going to lie, most likely, and cross her fingers that you do not look into the matter.

While I know not to believe everything a child says, that child knew a lot and that raises a read flag. Therefore, I'd be looking into it. Like many have said and I have said on this thread, it happens all to often. Like I have said, I've had people tell me they've done it. Not sure I would be telling others that if I did look at a patient's records! :O

Anyway, good luck with all this but my vote is to look into it.
I agree with everything you stated, except to call the mother. I wouldn't call the mother one way or the other. If she did do it, everything is out of the OP's hands as far as repercussions go. Just a different perspective.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:31 PM   #116
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I agree with everything you stated, except to call the mother. I wouldn't call the mother one way or the other. If she did do it, everything is out of the OP's hands as far as repercussions go. Just a different perspective.
I agree with you. I was not clear about that--IF the mom looked at the records, I would NOT contact her. If she did not, then there is a slight chance I might think of letting her know what her daughter says to others so they could talk about the daughter never saying such things even if it all about the drama.

I did say THEN and only then would I even think about contacting her but the reality is, I do not think I'd contact her either. It really isn't up to me to warn her.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #117
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I agree with you. I was not clear about that--IF the mom looked at the records, I would NOT contact her. If she did not, then there is a slight chance I might think of letting her know what her daughter says to others so they could talk about the daughter never saying such things even if it all about the drama.

I did say THEN and only then would I even think about contacting her but the reality is, I do not think I'd contact her either. It really isn't up to me to warn her.
The situation really makes you stop and think. Lots of ways to approach it.

I do think I'd probably contact the school counselor for him or her to speak with the woman's daughter. The counselor could let the girl know it's wrong to brag about her mother accessing someone's medical records. She should be informed it is unethical and punishable. The counselor may even want to speak with the child's mother too.

The OP could request to remain anonymous (or not). The girl probably has bragged in the presence of others. The complaint could be framed that way, that it could have been from anyone. Most people do take HIPPA laws quite seriously.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:10 PM   #118
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OP here.

At this point, I am strongly leaning towards contacting the hospital on Monday and asking for a report of who has viewed my son's records.

If the mother did not do it, then no harm has been done, and I will know she is innocent of this behavior and that her daughter is stirring up trouble.

If she did it, then I will have to decide what course of action to take--but that's a different decision to make.

DH and I discussed it, and we think that if we ask the mom at this point, before we know for sure, she is going to deny it (of course--what else could she do?) and maybe even get angry at us for bringing it to her attention or suspecting her of something like that.

I am surprised at how upset my son has been because he feels like his medical records are being made fun of by a doctor. If that happened, she needs to deal with the ramifications. If it did not happen, then he needs to know so that he does not feel that way.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #119
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OP here.

At this point, I am strongly leaning towards contacting the hospital on Monday and asking for a report of who has viewed my son's records.

If the mother did not do it, then no harm has been done, and I will know she is innocent of this behavior and that her daughter is stirring up trouble.

If she did it, then I will have to decide what course of action to take--but that's a different decision to make.

DH and I discussed it, and we think that if we ask the mom at this point, before we know for sure, she is going to deny it (of course--what else could she do?) and maybe even get angry at us for bringing it to her attention or suspecting her of something like that.

I am surprised at how upset my son has been because he feels like his medical records are being made fun of by a doctor. If that happened, she needs to deal with the ramifications. If it did not happen, then he needs to know so that he does not feel that way.
This is exactly what I would do. Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #120
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This is exactly what I would do. Good luck.
Me too. Good luck x2.
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