HealthLeaders Media reports on a case where a medical patient’s privacy was violated:
Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart, FL, has disciplined several employees for taking cell phone pictures of a shark attack victim who later died, and has asked anyone with copies of the photos to destroy them.
The disciplinary actions included written warnings, suspension, and demotion to loss of position, but nobody was fired, the hospital said in a media release. “Ultimately, we have determined that these inappropriate actions were taken by good people who exercised poor judgment,” said the hospital in a prepared statement.
Martin Memorial began an internal investigation after hospital officials were told that employees may have violated HIPAA privacy laws involving Stephen Schafer, who died after a Feb. 3 shark attack at Stuart Beach. The hospital said that Schafer’s family has been apprised of the privacy breach throughout the investigation. […]
Martin Memorial has started a re-education and re-training program on patient privacy laws and cell phone usage for physicians, staff, and outside personnel working in the hospital.