Savannah hospital workers fired for photo of patient's anatomy

Image of man's 'pelvic region' texted, posted on Facebook

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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Nine St. Joseph's/Candler employees were punished after a digital image of a patient's anatomy was photographed, texted by cell phone and posted to Facebook.

In all, three employees have been fired, three have been written up, and three have been suspended without pay.

Eight of those disciplinary actions occurred Wednesday. Another hospital employee was disciplined this summer after an investigation showed them to be involved with electronically sharing the images - a digital image of a male patient's pelvic region. That person later left their job, according to St. Joseph's/Candler. Hospital officials declined to provide the names of any of the employees.

An investigation started late last month after the Savannah Morning News received a copy of two images of the X-ray, one of which included the patient's first name and middle initial. Hospital officials are adamant the images received by the newspaper, while of the same patient, are not the same ones posted to Facebook, which they said did not include any identifiable patient information.

Because the distributed images viewed by hospital investigators contained no personal information, the actions were determined to be only violations of hospital policies and not federal patient privacy protection laws.

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