Implications of HIPPA Violations in Nursing

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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, sometimes things we should not share. This is not about Facebook; its essence is respecting others privacy and refusing to participate in activity that may divulge private medical information about anyone. Crossing that line, making clear the intent to become a part of the health care sector, changes your responsibility toward identifying information regarding a person other than yourself, and that information dies with you or there can be harsh consequences. Some of the stories easily searched on the Internet are seemingly harmless, absent any intent – probably just a momentary lapse in sound judgment, or simple ignorance. A nursing student going to a nursing blog site and asking the question: my patient died during clinicals today. Any advice on how I handle this emotionally? Unless that student nurse’s blog identification is known to fellow students or professors, and no one could trace the identity of the patient and harm that person or their family in any way, this would be innocent advice see... ... middle of paper ... ...t 8). When Facebook goes to the hospital patients may suffer. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/08/local/la-me-facebook-20100809 Larson, K., & Elliot, R. (2010). The Emotional Impact of Malpractice. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 37(2), 153-156. Painter, L. M., & Dudjak, L. A. (2010). Actions, Behaviors, and Characteristics of RNs Involved in Compensable Injury. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(12), 534-539. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181fc19eb Pugh, D. (2009). The phoenix process: a substantive theory about allegations of professional conduct. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(10), 2027-2037. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05038.x Virginia Board of Nursing. (2012). Guidance on the Use of Social Media. In (Guidance Document 90-48). Retrieved from www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/guidelines/90-48_SocialMedia.doc

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