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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Licensed attorney
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I am a pharmacy tech and I work I a hospital er. I do med

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I am a pharmacy tech and I work I a hospital er. I do med reconciliation. The patient was getting a test done when I came to the bedside. The patients daughter said he was not there but recognized me from previous encounters. She told me his med list should be the same since last time. I asked when was his last visit and she responded a month ago. I said okay I will be back. She said she could confirm the list if I read it to her. I did. As I was confirming the last med, the pts wife appeared behind me stating that she did not appreciate me going over his meds with an underage child. Then she said what if i didn't want her knowing his meds. I apologized and told her I was not aware and I was sorry she replied you should have asked. I immediately reported the incident to the charge nurse and my pharmacy director. Afterwards I steered clear of the patient and the area. The pt family is well known to the ER. They come in often and the patients wife has confrontational behavior. I am aware that she has mental illness from previous med review with her. I am also aware she has a personal vendetta with me. I do not know why but I know I avoided her when she came into the ER because i did not want confrontation. Additionally she stated to the PA afterwards she did not like me and that we don't see eye to eye. She lodge a complaint with the hospital and now I am being suspended for violating hippa. Is it truly a violation when the patients daughter had prior knowledge of his med info and med history from being present in the room multiple times?

Good afternoon, my name is Brandon. I am so sorry to hear how this event unfolded. HIPAA protects, in part, against the disclosure of individually identifiable health information, regardless of whether the recipient has prior knowledge of the medical information. I don't see that you made a moral error in making the disclosure; it was merely a technical error. However, hospitals have no reasonable choice but to take HIPAA violations extremely seriously, even if they are only technical in nature. 999 times out of 1000, nobody would bat an eye at your disclosure, but (as you said) the wife is not mentally well and confrontational, and this apparently is her way of trying to exercise control over her situation. Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please remember to leave a rating once you are finished (it is the only way I am credited). Thanks.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Okay. I just don't understand how it's private information when the patients family has been aware of it numerous times. This is most likely going to cost me my job now and your saying there's nothing I can do. I am just in the wrong period?