Select Page

Confidentiality in a patient’s health information is very important. It is also the obligation of any health professionals who have access to the information to not expose or disclose any of it to anyone. Confidentiality is also about privacy and respecting someone’s wishes. However, if an RN breaks that, the Board may put you into disciplinary action. Once the Board summons you, you need the help of a nurse attorney for your defense.

At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN at a hospital in Edinburg, Texas, and had been in that position for two (2) months.

On or about August 4, 2020, while employed as an RN at a hospital in Edinburg, Texas, RN violated the privacy and confidentiality of patients in that she removed nursing notes from the facility. RN’s conduct exposed the patients unnecessarily to a risk of harm from use, accessing or disclosure of the patients’ confidential medical information without the patients’ written authorization and placed the facility in violation of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

In response, RN denies violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). She explained a patient incident that lead to a write up, which she refused to sign. She states her next shift was cancelled, which she found out about after arriving for the shift. She states it was at that time she printed put forms so she could file safe harbor and requested a copy of her write up. She states she did not agree with their decision to suspend her until a full investigation of the patient incident was conducted. She states after being able to return to work, she began to write more detailed notes and 24-hour reports for her own documentation purposes. RN states she was later contacted by her Director of Nursing to return all paperwork she had of any patients, to the facility. RN states she did not have any documentation violating HIPAA and/or that she violated the privacy and confidentiality of the patient in any way. She states she did not remove any copies of patient information or medical records to take home with her.

The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13), Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A)&(1)(E) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12.(1)(C).

As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing decided to place her RN license under disciplinary action. It’s too bad that she failed to hire a nurse attorney for assistance, knowing that she had every reason to defend herself in the first place. Her defense would have gotten better if she sought legal consultation from a Texas nurse attorney as well.

So, if you’re facing a complaint from the Board, it’s best to seek legal advice first. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. He is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for the past 16 years and represented over 300 nurses before the Texas BON. To contact him, please dial (832)-428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.