March 2013 Moms

What is your viewpoint on this?

To make a long story short, an OB wrote on her FaceBook:  "So I have a patient who has chosen to either no-show or be late (sometimes hours) for all of her prenatal visits, ultrasounds and NSTs."She is now 3 hours late for her induction. May I show up late to her delivery?" A further status revealed the details about a previous stillborn baby.

My take: I don't know about this. Although I dont think she should be fired, she definitely needs a sensitivity class of something. You never know what a person is going through or what caused her to be late. Maybe she has a well founded fear that she could have another still birth and its making her apprehensive, I mean you just don't know

Re: What is your viewpoint on this?

  • I think the initial status is harmless, a little venting, especially since the unnamed patient is chronically late.

    I think the only thing that crossed the line was mentioning the stillbirth. That was giving out patient information, even if the patient remain unnamed.

    DD- 11/17/08, DD- 11/16/09, DS- 3/20/13 
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  • My reaction may be tainted by my own friends and family who constantly post everything they are doing on FB. The OB could have vented in  vague terms "work was frustrating..." but anything beyond that is too much to disclose on FB.
  • I don't think that it is ever appropriate for a doctor to post information about a patient in a public forum like facebook. There are just some lines you don't cross.
  • Sounds very judge mental coming from a medical professional. Makes you wonder what else she goes home and discloses if she is willing to put that much on FB. "Dear diary....."
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  • Eh I don't think it's that big a deal- with the exception of posting about a still birth. I think that is crossing a line b/c it is such a sensitive, personal thing and even if she didn't post personal details about the specific patient, it's just completely insensitive. As for the venting part- I don't see the big deal, she didn't give any info about the patient other than saying they are chronically late. I liken this to someone who works in retail complaining about a customer they had or someone complaining generically about an office co-worker. My SIL is a nurse and she often will tell me silly or crazy stories about her patients and I don't ever think its info overshare b/c it's not like I could pick the patient out based on the details she gives. 


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  • People are too sensitive! The first part doesn't bother me, she's venting about a late patient, it's not like you'd see that person and be like omg that's the late one that the dr is talking about!  However, the stillborn info is too much and very insensitive.  Although she doesn't give info on the mom, sharing about a stillborn esp in that manner is wrong and I  don't agree with that part. 
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  • Maybe it's just me, but I just don't see how this is that big of a deal.  Seriously, getting fired over it? The stillborn comment did take things too far but I still don't see any serious patient information being put out. 

    Obviously, I would be pissed if it was my doctor but I would switch.  Doctors are people too and everyone vents about their job at some point.  Was it her smartest decision? Of course not. 


  • I don't think her posts necessarily rise to the level of being unethical or violating patient privacy restrictions, but even the griping about the late patient is fairly unprofessional and immature in my opinion (I won't even get into the stillbirth comment).  Then again, it's NMS to complain about any aspect of my work on FB, I just think it's too easy for something like that to be seen by the wrong person.   
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  • Ok ladies I have to tell you that this story is out of my city and from an OB associated with our hospital!!!


    I actually was made aware of this a week before it hit the news because I'm in the Mercy Moms to Be FB group. My feelings on this are that is was very unprofessional of the dr to post any info regarding her patients on any social media. I totally understand being frustrated but that is something that she should've taken up with the patient directly. It really doesn't do her or the pateint any good by ranting on FB. Then you have the HIPAA issue. She didn't disclose any of the patients info but she did mention some of the medical history. Does she deserve to be fired? No. Does she need to be held responsible in some manner? Yes.


  • As a business owner (I own a photography business) my rule is that I don't post things on my personal page that I wouldn't put on my business page. If I want to vent about something I vent to my husband or my close friends, I don't do it on a page that still reflects my business. 
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  • I work in healthcare and both are a no-no. You don't mention anything regarding anything, don't even put "Going to work now"...even if you don't mention any names or have any patient-identifying data, someone could see that and still figure out who you are talking about (like say the patient's family member or neighbor or someone knew she was always late to appointments and knew she was supposed to be induced that day, that person could easily identify who the OB is talking about). She should be fired, for sure, and possibly stripped of her license.
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  • I honestly think that the doctor being fired is taking it too far and maybe lesser discipline can be used for disclosing the stillborn info. However, I'm weighing on the side with the doctor and find it very disturbing that the patient has continued to display this kind of behavior! She is abusing time that could have been scheduled for other patients and shows no repect for her own doctor who has other patients to attend to.. All I can say is she better be glad that she doesn't go to my doctors office because she would have a lot of no show/late fees to pay and would have to find another office to go to..
  • I don't think they should be fired, however they should reprimanded.

    I think it is extremely stupid and unprofessional for anyone to post about their job that way.  Other than yeah a rough day at work or whatever, but posting people's tips, student's school work, details about a patient, trashing your boss, or anything like that is just in poor taste. 

    Natural M/c 12/13/08 at 8w5d 

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  • image wittyschaffy:
    I don't think that it is ever appropriate for a doctor to post information about a patient in a public forum like facebook. There are just some lines you don't cross.

    This.  Same goes for teachers (former teacher here!)

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  • Um... these are not HIPPA violations. They are unprofessional, but not HIPPA violations. Therefore it is only a fireable offense if her hospital has a policy against posting on social media outlets, and even then it gets a little fuzzy and can be open to interpretation.
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  • image haileyq:
    Um... these are not HIPPA violations. They are unprofessional, but not HIPPA violations. Therefore it is only a fireable offense if her hospital has a policy against posting on social media outlets, and even then it gets a little fuzzy and can be open to interpretation.


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    Protected Health Information. The Privacy Rule protects all "individually identifiable health information" held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. The Privacy Rule calls this information "protected health information (PHI)."12 

    ?Individually identifiable health information? is information, including demographic data, that relates to:

    • the individual?s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
    • the provision of health care to the individual, or
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    that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.13  Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number). 

    The Privacy Rule excludes from protected health information employment records that a covered entity maintains in its capacity as an employer and education and certain other records subject to, or defined in, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. ?1232g. 

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