A customer at a Wal-Mart pharmacy in Lubbock, Texas, recently discovered an egregious drug error.
There was nothing wrong with the way the prescription was written or dispensed--just the manner in which it was delivered.
Attached to the bag containing the customer's medication was a piece of paper listing the names and telephone numbers of 22 pharmacy customers, as well as a total of 31 drugs prescribed to them--including antipsychotics, antidepressants and birth-control pills, according to a Sept. 4 story in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
"It was just stapled to something else," the paper quotes pharmacy manager Jana Snelling as saying. "It's not like that's a normal practice."
Snelling also reportedly said most people would have returned the document to the pharmacy or simply destroyed it. Well, this particular customer is not "most people"; the customer happens to be an Avalanche-Journal reporter.
Although this sounds like a clear-cut HIPAA privacy violation, at least one of the 22 named individuals has to file a complaint for HHS or state officials to investigate. Since the names were not made public, Wal-Mart may be off the hook.