[ Wednesday, February 12, 2003 ]


BNA's Health Care Daily Report (you need a subscription) is reporting on a recent DC case where a man sued a hospital when the receptionist told the man's coworkers that he was HIV positive. In Doe v. Medlantic Health Care Group Inc., D.C., Nos. 00-CV-247, 00-CV-275, 1/16/03, a State Department janitor went to the Washington Hospital Center complaining of headaches and nausea. One of his janitorial coworkers also worked as a receptionist at WHC, and she asked the plaintiff how he spelled his last name ("Doe" was used in the lawsuit for confidentiality purposes) so she could send him a get-well card. Of course, what she really wanted was to be able to search for his medical record. She apparently did so, discovered his HIV status, and told their common coworkers about it.

The trial court found that WHC was guilty of a breach of confidentiality but not an invasion of privacy (since the receptionist's snooping fell outside her job description).

Staff training, anyone?

Jeff [9:45 AM]

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