My son stepped on a nail in the neighbors yard, I cleaned it and looked at it a little better and cleaned it again with peroxide and bandaged it. This happened Sunday 15th 2009. No school on Monday so I continued cleaning it and Tuesday I sent him to school after cleaning it again and not seeing any redness or swelling. The principal sees him limping down the school hall so she sent him to the nurses office, so around 9:30 am the nurse calls me telling me his wound was infected and swelled and had redness, suggested he be seen by his primary physician. So I went to the school to pick him up thinking he was in pain and it was serious enough. Upon my arrival at the school the nurse repeated herself to me 6 times that he needed to see his primary physician but I didn't need to take him home until his appointment, which in return upset me because if it that serious and he is in pain he needed to stay off his foot, so I lashed out at the nurse telling her he will be seeing his primary physician and I was taking him home if it's as serious as she was implying.
So I was able to make him an appointment for Wednesday 18th, 2009 at 4pm.I called the school and asked if my son could go to school until his appointment, they told me he couldn't come back to school until he was seen. Later the nurse called me and I informed her of why my son wasn't there and she said that he could have went to school that the school officials don't communicate to one another. I watch twins that are only 13 months old, no car seats for them, no consent to take them anywhere except if they needed emergency attention, so I tried to find someone including parent's of twins to come and watch them till I was done at my sons doctors office with no luck. So I rescheduled his appointment for Thursday 19th at 4pm, I called the school and informed them of his appointment.
The principal called me later in the day Wednesday and asked for the doctors number, me thinking the only information can be given over the phone is that a patient did in fact have an appointment. But that wasn't the case here, the school nurse asked the receptionist questions concerning my conversation with the receptionist and the receptionist responded with what I said to her, and asked if my son was an existing patient or a new patient, asked what he was being seen for and what time his appointment was, and yes the receptionist gave her all this information and then some unknown to me at this time. Shortly after giving the principal the number the nurse calls me back and says she has all the information she needed and that was the end of the phone call. I was confused so I called my doctors office and identified myself and I asked the receptionist what kind of information was given out and she told me, which in return I called the principal and made arrangements to have a meeting with her and the nurse to discuss the situation.
My meeting was Friday 20th,2009, I was seated in a room and the nurse and principal followed shortly after. The nurse started with handing me a history form that I filled out at the beginning of the year and pointed to a paragraph I signed that states " In case of illness or injury of my student, I understand the school will attempt to contact parents or guardians first. then they will contact other persons i have listed- if none of these are available, the school is authorized to make whatever arrangements are deemed necessary to maintain my students health, including but not limited to, emergency medical treatment".
The nurse and principal had spoke to me through out the day of Tuesday and Wednesday. They never called the other 2 contacts I had on the history form. But they are saying that paragraph is what gave them legal right to call both myself and my sons primary physician. The nurse also as she held a book up and stated my last resort was to hot line you. And I asked for what? And neither the principal nor the nurse gave an answer.
Now I am getting a written statement from the receptionist of the conversation between her and the nurse. I have talked to the head nurse at the doctors office and she clearly stated that there was in fact a HIPAA violation had happened in this situation. I feel that the school was also in the wrong because there was no emergency reason for the information to be asked. I have the doctors note that states clearly there was no signs/symptoms of infection and that she gave him a tetnus shot and sent him home. And the school officials stated that they could have gotten a doctor to give them the same thing just that there was an infection.
Now first of all the school did not go through the proper channels, they also knew of the HIPAA laws that was in place for any medical information given to anyone without just cause of emergency medical treatment over the phone without the proper identification in person or in writing. Then when I brought this to their attention they threatened their last resort which was Hot lining me.
So to me I took their statements as a threat from retaliation. They clearly abused their authority to the fullest, so I need to find out what my legal rights/remedies I have and what steps I need to take to get a resolution to this matter without my son or myself in the line of retaliation from the school officials.