Here at Redwood's, I've blogged A LOT about HIPAA and writers violation of the act. You can read some of those posts by following the links:
Part I: http://jordynredwood.blogspot.com/2011/12/author-beware-law-hipaa-part-13.html
Part II: http://jordynredwood.blogspot.com/2011/12/author-beware-law-hipaa-part-23.html
Part III: http://jordynredwood.blogspot.com/2011/12/author-beware-law-hipaa-33.html
HIPAA and the Australian DJs
HIPAA and Law Enforcement
Let's look at a recent example that was social media focused and revolved around the Moore, OK F5 tornado that struck on May 20, 2013.
During the crisis in Moore, an "ad" (poster, plea-- whatever you'd like to call it) was put up on Facebook stating that a child had been found and said child was located at a hospital and gave the hospital's number.
What surprised me, honestly, was the backlash of some against this photo decrying HIPAA violation.
Umm. . . well . . . no. Not. At. All.
In order to have a full fledged HIPAA violation, medical information has to be disclosed with a patient's name. Since the sign had absolutely no medical information-- there was no violation. Even if it had said the child was a patient (which is did not)-- there still wouldn't have been a violation because it didn't disclose treatment and/or diagnosis.
This is really no different than calling up the ER and asking-- "Hey, is John Doe a patient there?" Giving a patient location is not a HIPAA violation. Saying, "Oh, Yea-- Johnny is here and let me tell you-- he's not feelin' that broken femur after his blood alcohol came back at 0.5."
But I digress.
See the difference?
Let's cut people some slack-- particularly when disasters strike their communities. Recognize the heart of what they were trying to do-- get parent and child back together.
And let's all continue to pray for this community.