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  1. #1

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    my ex husband's girlfriend is trying to get me fired

    Jurisdiction / State: Illinois

    was asked into the Directors office at the hospital where I am employed at as a registered nurse. I was told that they had been investigating me for a HIPPA violation brought to them by a patient (my exs girlfriend). She went to them in April with a text msg that I had sent to her. I was not allowed to see the msg (to protect the patients privacy). The texts were printed out in email form w/time stamp of 4/13 745am. I was at work @ that time. My verizon records show that I text my ex 2 times on 4/12 940pm. My employer is very upset w/ me regarding verbage used in msg. I recieved a Level 2 discipline stating "while the results of the investigation showed no HIPPA violation of privacy on XX part, her behavior and actions are unacceptable."

    Is there anything I can do about this? I have had problems with my ex and his girlfriend since March 2009. They have stolen property from me and vandalized my home.

    I have contacted Verizon in an attempt to get copies of these text messages. As I recall, they began with him texting me about the title of his vehicle (which he has misplaced) and had nothing to do with his girlfriend. Verizon said that it would require a court order and due to the length of time that has now passed they are unsure they even have the records.

    I do not know his girlfriends phone number, I do not know who her doctor is, nor am I aware of any of her medical history. I have never treated her in the emergency room where I work, I don't even know if she had ever been into the emergency where I work.

    I have not signed the disciplinary action form, and have been told that I can write a response to go with it in my personal file. Can my job even do this? Can they write me up for something that a)did not occur in the workplace and b)was investigated by them and found to be not a violation of HIPPA?

  2. #2
    Registered User Esteemed Colleague

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    There is no law addressing disciplinary actions. I suggest you take them up on their offer to write a response. Not signing the write-up could be considered insubordination, if the employer chooses to do so; merely, "I do not agree with the employer's statement" and sign. Kind of like getting a ticket; signing the ticket does not mean you agree to the charges.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Samaritan & Scholar

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    And for heaven's sake, it's HIPAA, not HIPPA. As a registered nurse (for that matter, as ANY kind of health worker) you should know that.

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    Thank you Patricia for your helpful advice.

    And thank you cbg for your obnoxious comment, it must be difficult living in a world where everyone isn't as perfect as you.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Samaritan & Scholar

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    You're very welcome. I wouldn't want you to embarrass yourself by making such a silly mistake at work, where you would be expected to know the correct acronym for a very basic law.

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    Crayon,

    You state that they investigated you for a hipaa violation because of a text you sent the girlfriend. Chances are the girlfriend showed the text messages to the director and then later emailed them. What exactly did you text the girlfriend? If you are sure that you only texted your ex about the title then you really have nothng to worry about; however, if you did by chance text something inappropriate to the girlfriend chances are she still has the texts saved and you could be proved to be untruthful. Im not really understanding why text messages you sent could even be used against you. Did you mention anything that would relate to your health field? Did you end up writing a rebuttal? A VERY good site for you to visit would be allnurses.com. They have a very good message board forum that actually discusses hipaa violation that others encountered. You would probably get a lot more intelligent answers from others in your profession that have been there done that or saw it happen to others. A level two discipline? Is that bad? Seems harsh for a couple of innocent text messages.

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    Thanks for your input time_out, I will check out allnurses. After I wrote my rebuttal, they changed it to a level 1 discipline. Better, but I still don't agree with it. I have never text the girlfriend, I don't know even know what her phone number is. She brought copies of text messages in an email form. I am not familiar with how one goes about doing that, he has a blackberry.

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    A level one is better than a level two, but still for what?! Will this impact your job at all? It all sounds so crazy. Have you sought any legal help?

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    What ever became of your situation? Just curious as to if you have any updates?


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