I was hospitalized where I work a few months ago. Today I got a letter from corporate compliance saying an employee read my chart (who wasn't supposed to be reading my chart). I called. They won't tell me who it was, because they're protecting that person's privacy.
But they did also say my SSN and financial information were compromised, so if I see anything janky there I should let them know, just by the way. They don't THINK that will be a problem. Which makes me feel so much better.
In short, for an unknown period of time that could be from 2 weeks ago when the letter was dated to several months ago when the hospitalization occurred, my bosses and the compliance people, at a minimum, have known that a coworker knew all about me. Everyone knew except me. I complained, because this AFFECTS me…it's my workplace, and my coworkers, you know, work there too. Evidently, my bosses weren't ALLOWED to tell me. Think about this. My privacy was violated. Horribly. And now my trust has been violated because I've been blithely tripping around working without any idea that my coworker(s) have been spelunking in my medical information and no one told me. And I've even asked. I had a strange prickling feeling that something nefarious was going on, and I asked if there was, and people said NO. Evidently, my question wasn't specific enough. I didn't know to ask, specifically, "also, are there any HIPAA violations involving my chart?"
So this is what HIPAA violations feel like, people. It happened to me. I feel like crying with rage and throwing up from distress. The violation started with whoever looked at my chart and has just kept right on rolling, and I'm still in the dark. Now all I know is that someone knows something. I don't know who it is or what they know or whom they told. Just enough information to increase my anxiety about to the breaking point. I certainly hope this mystery individual found something juicy enough to justify all this.