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My SIL works at a pediatrician's office at the front desk and my sister happens to take her children to that office.  Sister's oldest son was just there yesterday for a really bad case of poison ivy.  This evening SIL is talking to my hubby and tells my hubby all about my nephew's poison ivy, which is a violation of HIPAA.

If you were my sister, would you report this incident to the doctor?

I should clarify that the person that works at the ped office is my hubby's sister, so she isn't related to my sister in the least and she doesn't really know my sister at all.

The person who works at the doctor's office isn't related to the patient that she talked about.  So this isn't a family discussion at all.  The person that she blabbed to happens to be related to the patient.  Also, I have no desire to get my SIL in any trouble.  I want to talk to her about why she shouldn't be blabbing other people's personal medical business all over town.  My sister (the patient's mom) wants to report her.  Hence the moral dilema.

Thanks to those who immediately jumped on the hate bandwagon, especially when that was never even hinted at.  Love how some read between the lines and get it completely wrong.

The only people that I have told about this are all of you lovely ladies here on CM.  I did NOT tell my sister what my SIL said.  My husband called my sister without my knowledge and told me about all of this after the fact.

by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM
Replies (461-470):
by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 1:07 AM

 I would talk to her personally before going and reporting her. She probably wasn't thinking since he is related to the patient. Not that that excuses what she did in any way. She needs to be reminded that HIPPA is a serious thing and she could be fired and the office could be cited. Again she probably wasn't thinking since your husband is related to your niece.

by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Quoting Delamara:

I never said anything about you ma'am...I only asked why you fed the drama. But if it keeps the topic going, even if it's off topic, okay then. I'm glad you enjoy your job and I hope you continue too. The best advice I ever heard was from my dad who said..."Never fed into unnecessary drama" And alot of people on here just seem to try to bring that.

That's pretty low-brow advice, isn't it? I mean, every 16 year old on the internet has come up with that gem, and that's the best your dad ever gave you?

by Cindi on Mar. 25, 2012 at 1:22 AM

I know that my sister in law works at the hospital and when her husbands grandmother is there she's not allowed to tell anything that is going on or she could get in trouble. She's not even supposed to tell us that she is iin the hospital that has to come from the daughter that takes her that is to tell us she is in the hospital. So I would say that she needs to be reported no telling what else she has told about other patients that she's not supposed to be telling. Just my opinion.

by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Yes, ProudMommy, your position is clear. You seem to think you, and you alone, should decide what conditions should be "fair game"for PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL STAFF TO GOSSIP ABOUT. YOU think, HIV, let's keep confidential; Cancer, let's keep confidential, but poison ivy is just no big deal so privacy for medical patients in the case of poison ivy is just stupid. You think that you ARE the law- that HIPAA is stupid, and duh, every nurse should be able to go around blabbing about people's PERSONAL MEDICAL HISTORY. Your positions on family, the law, and morals are all completely wrongheaded.

Quoting ProudMommy51006:

I'm going to have to agree to disagree on the entire post and leave because I just think it is all wrong. I don't think it is the same, not even comparing it to HIV. No matter what awful diagnosis it is compared to, it is still JUST poison ivy. My point is that IF it had been something awful THEN I could see the issue. I view life, death, illnesses, diagnosis, family, the law, morals all very
differently I guess. I guess we all precieve things differently and have different opinions because some think I am over reacting here and I think the topic in the OP is an over reaction of poison ivy by everyone in the op. That is all.

Quoting steelcrazy:

If you read back you will also see that I used HIV to prove my point as well.  I'm sure that some who have an HIV positive person in their family would be bothered by me comparing poison ivy to HIV.  There is no way to not offend at least one person when attempting to explain that the diagnosis do not make a difference according to this law.

Quoting ProudMommy51006:

Like I said, wrong thing to prove a point on imo..... I feel there are soooo many other things you could have chosen to prove a point with. I really, really do! Also I said "being snarky", "proving a point", "whatever you were doing" so I do not think the 'snarky filters' apply to me.

And to be honest, I couldnt point out which groups are drama filled to frequent... I am mobile 95% of the time so posts pop up, I scroll through a couple pages and see if I want to pop into any, and get off... I don't even pay attention to which group it is posted in or who wrote it. I read the title and click or don't click.

Quoting steelcrazy:

My father is currently battling prostate cancer and 2 of my grandparents died from cancer, so I don't take cancer lightly and neither do many others.  My point was that it shouldn't matter what the diagnosis is, a breach of confidentiality is a breach of confidentiality.

I also love how people who typically frequent the drama filled groups on CM seem to read everything with a snarky filter on.  You need to remove your snarky filter when coming into this group.  No snark, just proving a point.

Quoting ProudMommy51006:

This is just one of the few responses i'm talking about... Being snarky, proving a point, whatever steelcrazy was doing.... I don't take this lightly, ever. Wrong thing to chose to prove a point with, imo. KWIM?

Quoting steelcrazy:

Quoting mamelmel3:

It's just Poison Ivy... So I don't really see the big deal. Just saying

Cancer isn't a big deal either.  Just sayin' ;)

by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 2:01 AM
We aren't talking about Cancer , are we? Yeah I didn't think so!

Quoting steelcrazy:

Quoting mamelmel3:

It's just Poison Ivy... So I don't really see the big deal. Just saying

Cancer isn't a big deal either.  Just sayin' ;)

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by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 2:28 AM

I am in agreement with a lot of other posters.  She asked hubby, yours didn't get it did they?  Sounds like she was concerned and as hard as jobs are these days...imo I would have a friendly chat with her privately and most probably she will be apologetic, I think.

by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 2:33 AM
3 moms liked this

I still don't see why there is any question. Your sister is upset and rightfully so.  She has laws that protect her privacy and when her privacy is disregarded the laws offer consequences. It doesn't really matter that it was just poison ivy, because what it was or who was at the office that day was none of your husband/her brother's business. Your sister has every right to follow up on this accordingly and your SIL is the one that can now deal with it. She is the one that made the mistake and should have known better.

What I would do here may not be of help because my perception to the events based on what was shared might differ from your sister's perception. Point blank, I'm a private person. I expect both office and medical personnel at any office I visit to not ever mention even something trivial about seeing me or my children. This would absolutely bother me and I would not let it go.  I would however weigh it and seeing as how it is poison ivy, my child and the reveal was to my sister and my BIL, I would not seek to destroy her. Consequences would be a must. I wouldn't want her punished but the consequence would be a meeting. I would call my pediatrician and ask for a meeting with her and your SIL about what I feel was a violation of my privacy. I would sit with both to explain that I know it was a HIPAA violation and that I did not wish to report it past the triad meeting but I wanted to be clear my health information or my child's never left that office again.I would even offer that I understand we all have off days and that you are sure her intentions were good but if it was just a slip, it's one she needs to reflect highly on so that no more or serious medical information is slipped.  

I also would not change my pediatrician because one of their staff had an issue. Your SIL can be mad all she wants but only at herself. Your sister should be upset. It's her information to share or not share. I think it would be nice if everyone learned better boundaries, especially verbal boundaries. If it's not yours to share then talk about something else.

To address the claim of concern for your children if the poison ivy at your home, that could have easily been done by SIL simply telling her brother "hey, I just want to remind you that it's poison ivy time and we are seeing a lot of kids at work that have it. you may want to check the yard for it." 

Quoting steelcrazy:

I have no issue letting it go.  My sister is very upset by it though and doesn't want to let it go.  I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here.  Someone is going to be very upset no matter what happens, but a lot of people are missing that fact.  They don't see that my sister will be mad at me if something isn't done about my SIL.  All they seem to notice is that my SIL will be mad is something is said.

Quoting dstowell6:

I think lately so many people are overly sensitive and expect others to be absolutely perfect.  I can imagine that your SIL thought she was protecting your children rather than being rude about your sister's parenting.  I would not turn her in because the rist of her not only losing her job, but potentially her career.  That is serious stuff you are contemplating on doing to a family member.  It could cause serious problems with your husband and his family.  She is related to your husband through you by marriage.  That is family.  I consider my SIL as family.  Remember that everyone makes mistakes and if it truly concerns you that much, then I would tell my sister to take her child elsewhere for a doctor and probably would talk to my SIL too.  But to put her job and career at risk over what could have been innocent concern for your children.  I think that is going  a bit far.

by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 2:57 AM
To me it sounds like she was trying to protect your kids by talking to her bro about his nephew. I wouldn't report it.

Poison ivy is highly contagious so to me it sounds like she was trying to protect her neices and/or nephews (dh and your kids). I doubt she was doing it to gossip b/c she specifically said did he get it at your house.

Next time you are with SIL I would talk to her about HIPPA and tell her you appreciate her concern for your kids but legally she could get into trouble. did your sister find out that you SIL told this to her bro? It had to come from you unless she over heard it. To me you are just as much the gossiper if you told your sis that your bro sis told him that his nephew had poison ivy.. You are more to blame b/c you told your sister about what you heard her say. It never had to get this far. I would have called SIL and said thanks for the concern but I know my sister is private and she would think that you are breaking HIPPA laws by talking about her kid so please don't do this again.

Quoting steelcrazy:

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

As long as she wasn't using names and it was more of "this kid came in and..." I wouldn't

If she were running aroud telling the world how awful the parents are bercause so-n-so got poison Ivy...I'd be up her ass so far she would have to fart to see daylight!

She pretty much told hubby that I saw XXXX at the doc office yesterday.  He was in for a bad case of poison ivy.  It was all of his (list of body parts) and the doctor prescribed him xxxx steroid.  I can't imagine how he got it so badly and in so many places.  He didn't get it at your house, did he?  I would be checking your boys out to be sure that they didn't get it too.

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by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 3:12 AM
Tell your sister to let this one go and that you'll handle it. Politely let SIL know that when you asked about your nephews poison ivy your sister was very angry and wanted to report her, so in the future to please not discuss patient info with anyone.
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by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 3:16 AM
I was going thru a difficult diagnoses of a potentially fatal illness and decided not to worry my parents who live in another state. Unbeknown to me one of the ladies who worked in my doctor's office lived with my brother and blabbed everything to him. I told my doctor about it but nothing was done. It really took a bad situation and made it worse. My poor mom had to hear about my illness from someone else when there really was no reason to worry her at all. And in the end my illness turned out better than we thought so my parents got to hear worst case scenario when it wasn't even true. It still goes on in that office but I changed doctors. The blabber mouth said she felt I needed family to help me thru it. I say it was none of her business and worse yet, she did bookkeeping and stepped away from her assigned job to go look up my file. The doctor did nothing.
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