Sharing a patient’s medical record with anyone other than the patient is a big, fat no-no. Not only can companies found to be leaking the super-sensitive information be fined millions of dollars, but it opens them up to a range of lawsuits. And one Ohio medical center has found itself in that exact situation.
A Cincinnati woman filed a lawsuit seeking $25,000 in damages against the University of Cincinnati Medical Center alleging that an employee posted her medical records on Facebook, WLWT News 5 reports (warning: video auto plays).
The primary exhibit in the lawsuit is a screenshot of the woman’s medical record, showing her personal information and the diagnosis of syphilis, posted on the Facebook group “Team No Hoes” and followed by comments calling her a “hoe.”
“She was absolutely devastated. That is the most private of private medical information that was posted on Facebook and went out to a group on Facebook that had a huge dissemination,” the woman’s attorney says. “For an employee of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to post that information on a social media device that millions of people have access to, it’s above and beyond the law and that’s why we feel that they’re responsible.”
According to the lawsuit, the woman’s ex-boyfriend allegedly talked two UC employees into releasing the records, a violation of state and federal laws.
A UC Medial Center spokeswoman said the center has yet to receive a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit also asks UC Medical Center to look at its procedures to make sure a similar situation doesn’t happen again.
The woman’s lawyer says she has been devastated by the situation.
“She doesn’t want to go out. She doesn’t want to talk to people. People who were formerly her friends have made fun of her for it. She’s chastised in the community and all of this could’ve been avoided if UC Med Center had proper protections in place.”