Advice about HIPAA issue

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Tam1067, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    sorry, I didn't mean to offend.

    My basic thought was this seems like a big case of "telephone". you say your son doesn't really communicate with the girl so this could very well be "ramped" up. Your son heard this from another student who sounds like they are not found of your son so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that she played the "my mom is a doctor" to give credance to her gossip.

    My concern is of course accusing some one of some thing that can have very very serious implications on the basis of "he said, she said" especially in a high school setting.
    You call the hospital admin without proof and it turns out to be not true, it's still a very big deal ESPECIALLY for a doctor.
     
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  3. rgf207

    rgf207 DIS Veteran

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    If this story happened exactly has you told it than yes, it's a huge HIPPA violation
     
  4. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

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    This is good advice.
    Have the privacy officer take a look.
    I work for IT in a hospital and it does literally take a very short time to check into who has electronically accessed a medical record.

    If the MD mother did access the record, then she will suffer the consequences. All of us in healthcare are well aware of HIPPa and privacy and if we choose to violate thiose regulations, we know the consequences.
     
  5. Mariep26

    Mariep26 DIS Veteran

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    Given all the information provided someone is lying or someone acted unethically. If you report the incident and the compliance department checks the audit trail and finds no inappropriate access to the records in question then there was no violation. So that leaves the daughter either outright lying or embellishing on a conversation she heard/overheard. Does anyone else think that the mother should be aware of what the daughter is going around saying? That perhaps the daughter should be educated on the seriousness of her claims and the impact it could have on her mother's career?
     
  6. Piper

    Piper DIS Veteran

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    I agree. I would definitely file a report. If it is false, no harm done. Either way--the mother should know what the daughter is saying.
     
  7. hiwaygal

    hiwaygal <font color=red>Only someone as wonderful as Donna

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    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.
     
  8. Lorelei Lee

    Lorelei Lee DIS Veteran

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    Yes, but if the doctor didn't do it, the gossip about it will kill her. which is why a discrete inquiry is the way to go.
     
  9. Lorelei Lee

    Lorelei Lee DIS Veteran

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    Agreed.
     
  10. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

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    See bolded
    I do agree that before I filed some type of "formal" complaint that I'd speak to the privacy officer and have them check who accessed my child's record. If the MD in question is on the list of people who "clicked on", then you have your answer OP and can go from there. If the MD in question is not on the list of people who "clicked on", then OP, you have to decide if you want to let her know what her DD is going around saying.
     
  11. wvjules

    wvjules DIS Veteran

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    But how is she supposed to find out if it is true if she doesn't contact someone at the hospital?

    OP, call the compliance or privacy officer and find out who has accessed your sons records. It's that simple. If she didn't look at them then no big deal but if she did then I'd definately move up the chain of command and report this to everyone, admin, licensing board, HIPAA, etc...

    And I guess I'm one of the minority that thinks that it is very possible that the mother did this.
     
  12. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

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    The Op's only concern should be about her son. If the doctor has to deal with gossip, that's something she should take up with her daughter. If the daughter made it all up, her mother needs to know and have a talk with her.

    The Op and her son shouldn't be worried about getting the doctor in trouble or causing her to be the subject of gossip. If any of that happens, its not their fault.
     
  13. Lorelei Lee

    Lorelei Lee DIS Veteran

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    No, the OP should be very very concerned. Gossip is what caused this problem in the first place. If the doctor didn't do anything wrong she should not be facing professional consequences over high school gossip, even if her daughter is involved.

    Enough harm has been caused by the actions and gossip of teenagers in this situation. It needs to stop. The OP should not be exacerbating the situation.

    If it were me, I'd make a discrete inquiry at the hospital. If the doctor isn't guilty of a violation, I might call her and tell her what's going on so that she could deal with her daughter. If the doctor is involved, the OP should do what is appropriate .. file the appropriate complaint.
     
  14. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

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    I think its totally possible the mother did it too. The daughter getting involved and saying what she did makes her seem like a gossipy, petty mean girl. Its not far-fetched to think she learned to be like that at home.
     
  15. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

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    Agreed. OP, don't look it as you damaging ER Mom's reputation. It's her daughter that's done that. Whether it's true or not, if she's blabbing it all over school that her mom has committed an epic breach of professional ethics and federal privacy law, you're not the only parent who's heard the story.

    If it's true, the hospital that her mom works for needs to know...and trust me, they WANT to know.

    If it's not true, the daughter needs some education on the effect that kind of a lie will have on her mother's career.

    If I were the mother, I would want the investigation, so that there was proof that I had not done what my daughter had claimed. And then my daughter would be grounded until her 50th birthday.:rotfl:
     
  16. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, I'm sure. In fact, one of my current work assignments is creating more flexible security tools for hospitals in just that situation.
     
  17. 2disneyboys

    2disneyboys DIS Veteran

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    I have close family that work in the medical field, and basicaly as long as the hospitals are on the same "network" anyone can access it, but yes, there is very strict tracking in place.

    OP I'd call the privacy officer @ the hospital your son was treated at. I would tell her that you understand that this situation involves a lot of high school drama, therefore, may not be totally factual, however, you would like to request an audit of your son's records from that date of treatement to confirm that only authorized persons (involved in his treatement/care)accessed it and would like some sort of confirmation in writing as to the results of the audit.

    I would not feel it necessary to say "Dr. Sue's daughter said that Dr Sue @ another hospital looked at it". All I would say is I am concerned of a possible HIPAA violation and would like an audit to verify only authorized indiviudals involved in the care/treatment of my son accessed his records. THis way, if "Dr Sue" really did not look at anything, then you have in no way identified "Dr Sue" so there should be no professional stigima attached to Dr Sue or the situtaion. However, if "Dr Sue" did look at the records, then whatever happens to her, she deserves as every medical person clearly knows the HIPPA rules and if she chose to violate them, that's her problem, not yours.

    The only way to know for sure is to contact the hospital privacy officer and ask for an audit. Yes it's possible for a teenager to pick up medical termology.. my sister is an RN, my Aunt is a Dr and my brother is an EMT, and sometimes, my 9 year old uses words (contusion, etc) that he shouldn't "know" but does from overhearing conversations between his Aunt, Uncle & Great Aunt.
     
  18. Lorelei Lee

    Lorelei Lee DIS Veteran

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    As the mother of two former teenage girls....

    Sometimes when the daughter is a gossipy little witch, she learned it from her mother.

    And sometimes the mother is a lovely lady and has no idea that her daughter has become something out of "mean girls".
     
  19. Lorelei Lee

    Lorelei Lee DIS Veteran

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    Agree.
     
  20. OceanAnnie

    OceanAnnie <font color=maroon>I guess I have a thing against

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    Op, what is the school doing for your son in this situation? It sounds like he has a terrible situation. I'd report the girl to the school guidance counselor. HIPPA violations are very serious and she should know she is jeopardizing her mom's job by repeating private information. You could request that the counselor leave you out of it, and just say it was brought to her attention that she is speaking about another student's medical condition (maybe others overheard her and/or she has spoken to others about it) and how unethical and serious it is.

    What did the school do about the assault? Does your son have a plan to keep this from happening to him again? Some school counselors have the victims of assault accompanied at all times in the school. It does help to thwart further assaults. Oh, and I would file assault charges. Maybe then the boy will think twice before sucker punching your son again.

    Lastly, I would want to know. As others have stated, speculation is one thing. I would want it confirmed one way or the other. Leave it open ended, stick to the facts as you know them, and ask for an investigation. Also request a follow up with you on the matter. If the doctor didn't do it, great. If she did do it, it's out of your hands. Hospitals have protocols for this. The doctor of all people, knows it.

    Good luck. It sounds like your son has really been through it. :hug:
     
  21. LoriABil

    LoriABil DIS Veteran

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    Reporting the situation to the privacy officer at the hospital only starts an investigation. That is what I think you should do. Then, you will have all of the facts. If the daughter is lying, then the investigation will at lease make the mom, MD aware of what her daughter is doing. She can address how much trouble her daughter could cause for her. I would like to know if my son was doing something that I could get fired for!

    However, if it is true, there have to be consequences for the MD, or the problem only gets worse.

    And there is a law which hospitals have to comply with by I think 2014, that all hospitals must have access to the ER databases, so they have to be able to "talk" to one another. My brother is an IT guy for lots of small area hospitals, and this is what he does all day, catching the hospitals up so they can "talk" to each other.

    My dad is a hospital administrator, so I'm fairly certain this is the case (it's all they gripe about at family events!) ;)
     

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