Medical records breach at Tampa General, USF exposes woman's secret
Letitia Stein reports:
Jennifer Jones didn’t want her entire family to know about the baby girl she delivered five years ago at Tampa General Hospital and placed for adoption.
But a relative whose job as a nurse gave her access to the hospital’s medical records went snooping and found out anyway.
The breach came to light only recently, after Jones’ secret was aired at a family funeral. She contacted officials at Tampa General and the University of South Florida, which promptly fired the nurse over “inappropriate access” to a patient’s records. Tampa General is USF’s primary teaching hospital; the aunt was a USF employee.
Read more on Tampa Bay Times.
Sometimes, just losing your job isn’t enough of a consequence. What other consequences could – or should – the employee face, in your opinion? Criminal federal prosecutions under HIPAA are rare. Is it even an option here? Or is Jones’ only option to file a state court action for invasion of privacy and public dissemination of private facts?