Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Awards 2016 - September 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/726435

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Page 34 of 146

Let's say that Mary, who works as one of your scrub techs, discovers that her ex-husband, John, who has not paid child support in more than 8 months, has undergone elective surgery at your facility. Mary has no job-related reason to access his electronic health record, but she does so on 11 different occasions, at times for more than an hour. She prints his demographic, credit card, health insurance, billing and claims information, his Social Security number and certain portions of the clinical record documenting his procedure. She uses this informa- tion to file a legal action against him to obtain the unpaid child sup- port and to increase her alimony. She also blasts him on social media for spending exorbitant amounts of money on his vanity, naming the procedure and its costs, instead of child support. John files a complaint against your facility with the Office for Civil Rights. He also files a criminal complaint and a civil libel suit against Mary. When you confirm Mary's unauthorized access to the EMR sys- tem and her breach of patient information, you fire her, of course, but in HIPAA's view your job's just beginning. Now you have to conduct an expensive and time-consuming investigation, take action to miti- gate any further harm to John and make any required notifications. The loss of an employee and professional reputation will no doubt cost you, plus you may face federal fines. Nothing stays anonymous online While you need to be careful not to interfere with your employees' First Amendment rights to free speech, you also need to warn them of the potential for HIPAA breaches in their social media communica- S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 3 5 We're seeing more cases of staff peeking into the records of friends, co-workers — and even celebrities.

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