HIPAA Case Study Essay

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There have been many instances of unauthorized viewing of medical records. Unauthorized viewing of patient records is a violation HIPAA. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires that “protected health information should not be used or disclosed when it is not necessary to satisfy a particular purpose or carry out a function” (Health and Human Services.gov). The case study in which Joe, a staff member accessed medical information after he was allowed access to the hospital to change lightbulbs and the case study in which the daughter of a nurse accessed medical information as a result of the mother leaving the computer unlocked and unattended, are HIPAA violations (i.e both people accessed the medical information illegally). Joe was tasked with changing a lightbulb, but was curious about a patient he knew on a personal level, his neighbor. Joe intentionally accessed his neighbor’s patient file at an empty workstation after the nurse manager neglected to log out or lock the computer before walking away. Susan, the daughter of the school nurse Jill, also violated HIPAA when she accessed Jill’s work computer to look up her fellow students’ information. Both scenarios…show more content…
Nurses and doctors take the oath to protect the privacy and the confidentiality of patients. Patients and their medical conditions should not be discussed with anyone who is not treating the patient. Electronic health records are held to the same standards as nurses in that information is to be kept between, and shared only with the immediate care team. HIPAA violations are not taken lightly nor are the violation fines cheap. Depending on the violation, a hospital can be fined from $100 to $50,000 per violation (National Nurse 2011 p 23). The person who violated HIPAA faces termination, revocation of license and/or jail time depending on the severity of the
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