You are taking care of your patients on your floor one day. Your floor has a combination of patients that are bedridden as well as ambulatory. You are using computers that are on mobile carts. One morning while rounding with the doctor you are seeing a patient who has recently been diagnosed with a communicable disease. You have the patient’s electronic chart opened up on your computer and are making notes. Suddenly you and the doctor are called to another room due for a code blue. In the ensuing confusion a patient who is in the hall steps into the wrong room (the one you were just in) and sees your notes that were left on the screen. The patient realizes it is her neighbor and quickly leaves the room unnoticed but mentally carrying that piece of information with her.
1. Is there a HIPAA violation here? If so, who is in violation and why?
2. Given the above scenario, are you aware of any technological solutions to reduce the possibility of HIPAA violations?