Healthcare News & Insights

Ex-employee posts patient photo on Facebook, gets charged with privacy violation

Facebook and other social networks have given healthcare employees new ways to violate patient privacy – and organizations a new reason to offer updated HIPAA training. 

In one recent incident, a former nursing home assistant and her friend were charged with invasion of privacy after a photograph of a resident’s genitals ended up on Facebook.

The employee, while still working at a facility in Livingston, NJ, allegedly took the photograph and sent it to her friend, who posted it to the social networking site. The staffer has since been fired, and the pair have been charged with third-degree invasion of privacy and third-degree conspiracy, NBC New York reports.

As incidents like this and other cases of staff members posting patient information or photographs to social networks show, it may be a good idea for organizations to offer updated HIPAA training covering those issues — while making sure to mention the legal repercussions employees themselves will face for violating the law.

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