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Nurse Violates Confidentiality on Facebook

Nurse Violates Confidentiality on Facebook

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Oakwood Hospital Employee Fired for Facebook Posting

Cheryl James enjoyed her job at Oakwood Hospital, Michigan. She never imagined posting something on Facebook from her own computer on her own time would get her fired. “He died for us, protecting us,” said James. Like so many others, James was emotional following the shooting death of Taylor Police Corporal Matthew Edwards. She worked for the hospital organization that treated the police officer and the shooting suspect, Tyress Mathews.

One night while at home, she posted on Facebook that she came face-to-face with a cop killer and hoped he rotted in hell. She also posted another remark we can’t repeat.

Tuesday, she got a call. Her bosses wanted to talk.

“They called me in, told me that they got notice and word that I had posted this specific post on Facebook and that they had to investigate it,” James said.

She says she immediately removed the posting and thought she might get written up or suspended. Instead, she got fired.

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The nurse who posted her remarks offered enough information that readers were able to determine who she was talking about. This violated HIPAA, a federal statute that protects the confidentiality of medical information.

This nurse’s story is a good reminder that anything posted on social media sites can be easily disseminated, can hang around forever, and can come back to haunt a poster.

In the World War II era, the phrase was “loose lips sink ships”. Our parents and grandparents could not have foreseen that loose fingers could destroy a job.

What do you think? Have you seen comments on social media that make you cringe?

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