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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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A nurse I work with has a large folder of patients medication

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A nurse I work with has a large folder of patients medication administration records. He is keeping these to keep track of other nurses medication errors. They are kept in his work mail box. I would like to turn him in for a HIPPAA violation. Other nurses are telling me to leave it alone because he is a friend of the Director of nursing. Is this a HIPPAA violation. Who do I contact if I can't trust the DON?

D. Foy

Under Title 45 Code Fed. Regs. 164.501, a covered health care entity may use protected patient records for the purpose of "Reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, health plan performance, conducting training programs in which students, trainees, or practitioners in areas of health care learn under supervision to practice or improve their skills as health care providers, training of non-health care professionals, accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities."

If the nurse is conducting his investigation on behalf of your employer, then the use of the records is lawful. Otherwise, the use of the records violates HIPAA -- and you can file a complaint with DHHS at this link.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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