Hospital workers disciplined for viewing patients' genitals

In December, a man went to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital for surgery to “remove a foreign body” of which caused a genital injury, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Health report.

A “crowd” of UPMC Bedford nurses along with doctors “lined up at the door” of the operating room to take photos along with videos of the man’s genitals while he was under anesthesia, according to the report.

The material taken on personal cell phones “had no clinical justification,” along with staffers “shared those videos along with photographs to others uninvolved with the patient’s care,” the report says.

A couple of the employees within the room tried to curb the situation along with stop the photos, according to employee interviews within the report.

“We are a little hospital, the idea is actually commonplace for everyone within the facility to know what cases are coming in. the idea was a medical curiosity. I respected the patient, I did say, ‘Stop, This kind of is actually a HIPAA violation.’ I could not hold anyone back, within the spirit of a medical anomaly I told them they could come in once the patient was asleep,” one employee said in an investigation interview.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability along with Accountability Act, provides for patients’ medical privacy.

Hospital officials flagged the incident to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, launching state along with internal investigations.

The hospital’s CEO initially issued a seven-day suspension to the attending physician along with another physician who was within the room. When the internal committee completed its investigation, the attending physician received another week of suspension along having a few hours of mandatory HIPAA training.

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The some other doctor, who wasn’t involved within the patient’s care along with not meant to be within the OR, was suspended another 28 days along with ordered to receive additional HIPAA training.

The disciplinary action will remain within the personnel files of the employees involved, the report says, nevertheless their names will not be made public.

UPMC Bedford also appointed a brand-new surgical services nursing director along with conducted policy reviews along with mandatory staff retraining as a result of the incident, according to the report.

The state required no further discipline.

The hospital system includes a strict policy against photography not intended for educational purposes or for the benefit of the patient, public relations senior manager Rick Pietzak said in a statement.

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“The behavior of these few individuals was abhorrent along with intolerable per our policies along with standards. Upon discovery, we immediately reported the idea to the Department of Health, conducted our own investigation, along with took disciplinary action, with our corrective action plan approved by the DOH. Although no hospital along with no company can prevent every employee coming from generating mistakes or violating policies, we try to do everything possible to protect the health, privacy along with dignity of our patients,” Pietzak said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health declined to comment on the report due to patient privacy issues, spokeswoman April Hutcheson said.

Another incident in Denver

In April, nurses on the night shift at Denver Health Medical Center were caught generating inappropriate comments about a male patient’s genitalia, according to a report coming from the Colorado Department of Public Health along with Environment. The man, who was in his 40s, died within hours of being at the hospital.

Nurses admitted of which they viewed his genitalia repeatedly while discussing “characteristics of the patient’s genitalia,” the report says.

One nurse said others encouraged them “to go to the patient’s room to observe his genitalia because the patient’s body might soon be going to the morgue.” They left their post in another unit to unzip the body bag along with take a look for themselves, the report says.

Denver Health Medical Center officials reported the incident to police along with the state nursing board.

Everyone on staff denied of which photos were taken, along with officials weren’t able to substantiate photo evidence.

several nurses were placed on administrative leave nevertheless were eventually allowed to return to work. Four of the several still work at the hospital, according to spokeswoman Kelli Christensen.

“Hospital management was notified by a concerned staff member who was working within the unit.

“Denver Health responded to This kind of report immediately along with the nurses in question were placed on investigatory leave. An internal Denver Health investigation resulted in disciplinary action against all those responsible for the incident along with the patient’s next of kin was notified,” Denver Health Medical Center said in a statement.

The hospital’s risk management department told police of which “Multiple staff members viewed the victim while he was incapacitated, including after he was deceased,” according to a Denver Police Department incident report coming from May 8.

Denver police also consulted the district attorney’s office. “They determined there was insufficient evidence to prove a crime was committed, no charges were filed, along with referred the matter back to Denver Health to handle internally,” said Ken Lane, communications director for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Hospital workers disciplined for viewing patients' genitals

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