Nurse on cell phone

An Illinois rehabilitation and skilled nursing center has been fined $25,000 after a certified nurse aide admitted to posting a partially nude photo of a resident on social media.

The Illinois Department of Public Health cited the 120-bed Illini Restorative Care in September, according to the agency’s fourth quarter report. The building is a Genesis Senior Living community, not owned by Genesis HealthCare.

Genesis self-reported the incident after a second CNA at the Silvis facility reported to the director of nursing that she had seen the photo online. In the photo, the male resident can be seen topless in bed, the Dispatch-Argus reported.

State investigators said the CNA called the photo’s posting “ a complete accident,” noting that she was using social media on her cell phone in the resident’s room. When he got restless, she dropped the phone in her pocket, “not realizing it had taken the (resident’s) picture and posted it.”

“I have received training on abuse prevention and cell phone usage,” she told investigators. “I knew I wasn’t supposed to have my cell phone in my pocket.”

Illini’s policy is intended to prevent employees from using personal devices to take identifiable photos or videos of residents on personal devices, according to the newspaper.

In citing the facility for three code violations, the health department said Illini “failed to ensure a resident’s right to be free from exploitation on social media,” and that failure caused the resident “to suffer public humiliation and dehumanization.”

Genesis Senior Communications Specialist Craig Cooper told the newspaper the incident was a “regrettable mistake” by a former employee.

“Our staff is trained regularly about protection of patient privacy,” he said. “Genesis self-reported the incident immediately, took corrective action immediately and has since reinforced our patient privacy policies with on-site staff.”