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    Rayana's Avatar
    Rayana Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jun 18, 2014, 11:05 AM
    Is this hippa violation
    My unemployment was denied because my boss falsely accused me of endangering my patient and negligent. She stated that I did not give a necessary drug for 7days and did not notify anyone about the situation. I appeal it because I had evidence which I was going to provide to her boss before she fired me. I have copies of our nursing notes that proves that my boss is a bold face liar. The info has the patient first name and last name initial and it states the treatment that I indeed provided. I have use this information for unemployment ONLY. Is this a hippa violation?
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #2

    Jun 18, 2014, 12:40 PM
    Please give some more detail about the order in which the events occurred. You used the data containing the patient's name after you were no longer employed by the healthcare provider, the best I can tell and you were no longer subject to the company's guidelines which they are required to develop per HIPAA law.
    You used the information as part of your appeal for unemployment compensation? It may be advisable for you to consult a lawyer. You may have some personal liability (not necessarily a HIPAA violation) and you may have a case against your employer.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #3

    Jun 18, 2014, 12:59 PM
    Agreed, story is unclear and confusing.
    First, of course, being fired usually means that you are denied UI. You have to be laid off, unless the UI board finds that your case has merit over and above what your employer states.
    She said that you 'did not give a necessary drug for 7 days and did not notify anyone about the situation' as defense of firing you.
    You say that you 'have evidence' but for some reason you didn't give it, and you don't say why it was going to go to her boss, not her.
    But you also say that you did provide the treatment (presumably during the 7 days in question). So which is it? You did, or you didn't and have some good reason for not doing so?
    Now you bring up HIPAA, which is a TOTALLY different subject. There was no reason to use patient names in your appeal, but I don't think it's a HIPAA violation, at least as you describe it. Is your boss saying it is? Is someone?
    But let's clear the air on the firing first, although I doubt that you will be able to collect UI.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    Jun 18, 2014, 01:55 PM
    The way I understand it the supervised who did the firing claimed the OP did not administer the meds, but the OP claims that she did and has proof. That proof consists of medical records she obtained as a medical provider. However, using the proof in a confidential situation such as a UI hearing should not violate HIPAA.

    If the proof were used to fight the termination, then it shouldn't be a violation either.
    Rayana's Avatar
    Rayana Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jun 18, 2014, 03:55 PM
    In our nursing notes my boss left a nasty massage blaming us nurses for this mistake. I made it clear that I was going to report my boss (S) for not paying attention to our notes and putting the patient at risk while blaming the nurses. I worked that Sunday night, made the copies of our notes to provide to her boss (B). I was going to prove that the nurses were indeed properly documenting and caring for the patient. The notes were written by 3 different nurses. I was terminated after my shift and escorted out of the building while I still had the information. I didn't push the issue in fear of looking like an angry X employee and I was still on my 90 probation.
    My boss (S) told the unemployment a bogus story stating that I and only I neglected to give the patient 3 different medications for 7-8 days straight and did not inform no one else of this problem or write it in the chart. I was first denied unemployment. At my appeal, my boss had 3 copies of different disciplinary letters stating that I was making med errors, I was negligent, and not fit to work at her place.However, she couldn't explain why they had no signatures. None had my signature because they never existed before. I presented the evidence that showed me working only 2 days out of those 8 days, my proper documentation, the MD and pharmacy were notified. I also explained why and how I obtained these notes. Two days I receive a letter from HR stating that I violated the hippa law by having these note and to return them right away with anything else that I may have. These notes were use in a labor dispute and not maliciously. I honestly fired for speaking up. Sorry for bad grammar.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646
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    #6

    Jun 18, 2014, 04:06 PM
    There are 2 major patient identifiers... name and birthdate. There are a few others, but most facilities use these. So, yes, you did violate HIPAA. Never should a nurse make a copy of patient information that contains either of these identifiers. It is further a violation if this information remains in your possession when off the clock and/or off facility grounds.
    Rayana's Avatar
    Rayana Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jun 18, 2014, 04:28 PM
    It had the first name and the first letter of last name. No birthdays or place of care. This information was written in a regular notebook for us nurses to communicate with each other. I understand that it is not a hippa violation if used to dispute a legal situation.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #8

    Jun 18, 2014, 04:53 PM
    You were let go within the 90 day probationary period. I assume that you have a policy handbook that spells out what that means - usually that you can be let go without a reason. It also means that you aren't eligible for UI. But if you have papers saying you were fired, then you can at least apply, the employer gets to respond, and you get to appeal. It's possible that someone at work is lying.
    I don't think we can sort this out online. If you think you have a case, talk to a lawyer. Try to find a law school or advocacy firm.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646
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    #9

    Jun 18, 2014, 07:38 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Rayana View Post
    I understand that it is not a hippa violation if used to dispute a legal situation.
    . That is correct. However, they must be attained in a legal manner, i.e. via subpoena. You cannot make copies of any portion of a medical record.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #10

    Jun 19, 2014, 04:38 AM
    J_9 is correct, you violated HIPAA by removing the documentation from the premises. However, I'm not sure what HIPAA will do after an investigation.

    However, since you have been told to return them you must comply. On the other hand, I think you have a valid lawsuit against your boss and the facility for defamation. So before returning the documentation, I would consult an attorney. But you have to do it immediately. Any delay in returning the documentation will go against you.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646
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    #11

    Jun 19, 2014, 06:10 AM
    I was still on my 90 probation.
    At my appeal, my boss had 3 copies of different disciplinary letters stating that I was making med errors, I was negligent, and not fit to work at her place.However, she couldn't explain why they had no signatures
    I'm not sure how your facility works, but at mine any nurse can write up any other nurse for medication errors, for example. In my facility it is called an EOR, or Electronic Occurrence Record. It goes to the nurse manager, CNO, as well as the corporate offices. No signature is needed by the nurse that is reported for making mistakes, and many times that nurse never even knows there is a report against her unless it is for gross misconduct or serious medication errors. With you still being in your 90-day probationary period, they had the right/ability to terminate your employment for one little mistake or even if your personality didn't mix with the culture of the rest of the staff. It's a sad fact but it's true nonetheless.

    Also, I would like to point out that, depending on your location you may not qualify for unemployment as you were still within your 90-day probationary period.

    As for the HIPAA, you have already been terminated. However, this could cause you to owe a fine and/or have a black mark on your record in which you may have to go through HIPAA training to have removed.
    Rayana's Avatar
    Rayana Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Jun 20, 2014, 05:16 PM
    That is the argument... I DID NOT MAKE A MED ERROR!! I would have been OK if she just fired me for not getting along with her or unwilling to cover up the BS that I see. To tell lies and tarnish my image is wrong and that is why I fought the unemployment denial. It's not even about the unemployment denial but the reason she gave them was wrong. To tarnish my image as a nurse is not something I will take lightly.
    Rayana's Avatar
    Rayana Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Jun 21, 2014, 02:51 AM
    The documents where not part of any patient medical records, no time or dates but notes that us nurses share amongst each other and no one else. It is never part of the patient chart. They are more like reminder to us nurses. We just log what needs review, fixing. Furthermore, employees still employed at the location informed me that she removed this form of nursing communication after terminating me. She informed unemployment that she never writes or looks in the notebook that she provided for us to communicate (not patient chart) but only in the patient chart. She said it was only for us nurse to communicate and not her. Yet, she write us message and read updates on what happened the previous shift. It's an assistant living so we don't write inside the chart unless there is a medical change. However, the notes proved that she was telling lies. She would have never hand the notebook to unemployment with the right pages.

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