CINCINNATI — A woman who was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center is suing the hospital, accusing an employee of posting her medical records to Facebook.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Hamilton Common Pleas Court this week, a screen shot of the woman's medical record showing her name and her diagnosis of syphilis was posted to the Facebook group "Team No Hoes" in September 2013.
An email that included the same screen shot was also sent to members of the closed group.
Shawntelle Turley is also suing Ryan Rawls, named as an employee of UC Medical Center, an unnamed employee at UC Medical and Raphael Bradley, her ex-boyfriend.
The lawsuit claims that Rawls, along with the unknown nurse at UC, posted records online at the request of Bradley. The lawsuit also claims the health system and UC Medical Center negligently supervised Rawls and has not done enough to identify the other unknown employee allegedly involved.
Officials at UC Health, which operates the hospital, said they could not comment on the pending litigation.
On Wednesday afternoon, UC Medical Center CEO Lee Ann Liska sent a memo to the hospital's employees noting the lawsuit and its claims. The memo also reads:
(W)e take the privacy and safety of our patients very seriously. While the allegations are isolated to the people named in the lawsuit and by no means reflect the conduct of UCMC associates, who are dedicated to serving thousands of patients annually and safeguarding their PHI (or personal health information), I would like to remind everyone that the unauthorized access or viewing of medical records, or the unauthorized sharing of PHI, is a serious violation of federal medical privacy laws and regulations and cause for immediate termination.
As this case is being handled through the legal system, we ask that you refrain from discussing it. Should any patients ask questions about the story or raise concerns about their PHI, please assure them that we strictly enforce our policies to safeguard their privacy.
According to the suit, "as a result of the inaction (of the hospital) ... the plaintiff's medical records are still in the possession of the other (unknown) employee and the plaintiff is receiving phone calls harassing her and her child," according the lawsuit.
Turley, whose lawyer is former Hamilton County prosecutor Mike Allen, is suing for more than $25,000 in damages for invasion of privacy, emotional distress, malice and negligence.
Allen did not return a call seeking comment.