Q: Our safety bulletin includes a picture of an injured employee’s x-ray. In your opinion are we violating any HIPPA regulations?

A: In my opinion it is a violation of HIPPA to release a photograph of an individual’s injuries to anyone without the individual’s permission. A photograph of a medical condition is considered protected health information (sometimes referred to in California as “PHI”) which cannot be exposed or disseminated to anyone without legally compliant medical and HIPPA release(s).

I would recommend the photograph be removed from the notice and any copies disseminated be collected with no reference at all to the individual and/or his or her medical information contained therein.