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Hospital Employees In Trouble For Allegedly Sharing Patient Info Online

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Aired 6/9/10

Five employees of Oceanside's Tri-City Medical Center are in hot water for allegedly sharing patient information on Facebook. Health information is supposed to be protected.

— Five employees of Oceanside's Tri-City Medical Center are in hot water for allegedly sharing patient information on Facebook. Health information is supposed to be protected.

Federal law prohibits healthcare workers from sharing patient information without their consent. This includes a patient's name or diagnosis.

Tri-City's CEO says hospital employees did not share patients' names or other identifiers on Facebook. Even so, the official is concerned about a possible breach of patient privacy.

Rainey Reitman is with the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

"Posting information about patients in any context is a very serious issue," Reitman says. "And just a little bit too much information, all of sudden, you've narrowed it down to one or two people."

The employees at Tri-City have not been identified. Officials won't say if they've involved in patient care.

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