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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33763
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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I work transplant organ organization.We carry hard

Customer Question

Hi- I work for a transplant organ organization.We carry hard copy patient charts outside hospitals all the time. eg: face sheet with date of birth some with SS# ***** diagnosis, family history, time of death and if there are any infectious disease processes. Charts are carried to our cars and then left at our house on a shelf or wherever, until we shred them. I was car jacked at gun point 3 weeks ago and two charts were in my car. At first I was thinking they were taken then realized they were thrown into another part of the car. AM I in violation of hippa? I was taking them to be shredded that day or the following day. Is my company in violation since they allow us to leave with patient charts and have no protocol to store or destroy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.What is the purpose of taking the charts outside of the medical facility?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We travel outside with them for no real reason. Everything in my hard copy chart is attached to a computerized chart including patients outside hospital records. W use to years ago not have all the paperwork attached to electronic chart and thus would need them to make corrections. But, now I can make a correction off anything in the electronic chart. Basically we will practice in an old fashion way and have not updated to current methods. These charts we take are not seen by anyone once we leave the facility and play no role in further patient care. We are left with pvt. Patient records and left to dispose of
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
If there is no need to take them out of the office then it is going to likely be a HIPAA breach on the part of both the company and the employees. The fact that there was a carjacking and the file was in the car wouldn't have been if there was a legit reason for the file being there but without one then it will be a breach to have the file in the car and not secured.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I'm required by work to leave with them because there may be something we need from them and j was taking them to be shredded and you suggest this is a violation is the violation reportable and should the company be reported as well since they require we keep a hard copy then destroy it?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it wouldn't just be on the employee, it would be on the company at least as much and maybe completely depending on the exact facts. For instance, if you were taking them to be shredded then that can be a permissible reason for them leaving the office although the supervising agency may say the company should have had an on-site shredder. Also, if you sometimes need to refer to the paper copy in places where you don't have access to an electronic copy then that can be a permissible reason as well.You wouldn't be likely to have any problems because you were carjacked with a file there so long as there was a legit reason for the file being there.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will company report it or should I? Also, should I get a lawyer to both protect me and help to make change in the way we practice to eleiveate any other coworkers going through this?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
You probably want to get a lawyer and then talk to the company about the best way to proceed. The lawyer will then be able to watch out for you but still try to correct the issues.