Photo of Anesthetized Employee Potentially Violates HIPAA, Triggers Investigation

September 11, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A patient has brought a civil lawsuit against a California hospital for an incident that occurred during a surgical procedure in which her anesthesiologist placed stickers on her face and a nurse aide took a photograph, reports a September 4, 2013, Los Angeles Times article. According to the article, the anesthesiologist thought that the patient, who was also an employee of the hospital, would think that the photo was funny, but the patient felt violated. Although the nurse aide who took the photo claims that she did not e-mail it or post it to any social media sites and that she immediately deleted it after showing it to the patient, an investigation of the incident was launched by state health officials because it is a potential violation of patient privacy.

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