"Sorry, no patient by that name here"

  1. Some complaints about the HIIPA regulations regarding interactions with the public

    We live in a small town, where it woundn't be unusual for someone to approach the nurses station and say "I think that my neighbor, Joe's truck is in the parking lot. Was he admitted?" Or worse yet, some elderly people, usually couples out visiting for something to do, just walk up and down the halls looking into rooms for someone they might know to stop in and visit with. This can put us in the uncomfortable position of being the visitor police, and is being received as pretty rude by some.

    Have suggested posting the new policy on patient information so they know that it is not just a case of being uncooperative or unfriendly.

    Any one else getting feedback from the townies?

    This is not a thread about the importance or the why's of the new HIIPA regs.
    Last edit by ceecel.dee on Apr 18, '03
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   Shamrock
    Posting the policy is a great idea but have to
    wonder how many would take the time to read it.
    Yes the town folk here are confused as to why
    all the sudden they can't call and get the "low
    down" on Auntie Hagatha anymore.
  4. by   canoehead
    Yep, some people come to tha hospital on Sunday afternoon just to troll for gossip. We had a horrible time when the town manager was admitted. Everyone and their dog came to visit, and noone seemed to realize that perhaps he didn't want to be seen indisposed, or that maybe he didn't feel up to entertaining ALL day. They got huffy when ushered out or refused a visit ( and there were people coming every 10 minutes or so ALL day- makes for an exhausting day for the nurses.)
    Last edit by canoehead on Apr 18, '03
  5. by   MandiPooh
    I think this is wonderful, I am in a small town and they are always calling say I thought I saw Joe Bob's truck is he is here???? This is great
  6. by   jlc
    The worst thing about these new regulations is educating the public about what to expect from now on when they call and want updated on a patient. I also live in a small community where people come to the hospital just to pass the time and visit. One caller got very upset and said "but I am a priest", as if that would get him past these new regulations. Let's hope that someone finally realizes that there has to be some kind of balance, what do poeple do that live out of state and have loved ones in the hospital. JJ
  7. by   ceecel.dee
    We actually have a special "pastor roster", and patients are asked on admit about pastors "making the rounds" having permission to drop in on them.

    Patients are also asked to designate family members as the "ones to inform", and the rest are supposed to get info from them...of course, we probably can't give out those names either....YIKES! It really gets complicated!
  8. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Maybe the hospital could approach the local newspaper editor and ask them to run an article on how new laws/regulations prevent staff from giving out any information, and that so many visitors/enquiries make it hard for nurses to do their work and for pts to recover.

    -or-

    When people call, and ask for a room or floor, they are first connected to a brief recording stating that it is illegal to give out information on pts.

    I think these ideas would help, if any adm is responsive or concerned enough to act.
  9. by   wv_nurse 2003
    Originally posted by Hellllllo Nurse
    Maybe the hospital could approach the local newspaper editor and ask them to run an article on how new laws/regulations prevent staff from giving out any information, and that so many visitors/enquiries make it hard for nurses to do their work and for pts to recover.

    -or-

    When people call, and ask for a room or floor, they are first connected to a brief recording stating that it is illegal to give out information on pts.

    I think these ideas would help, if any adm is responsive or concerned enough to act.
    I think these are two very good ideas!
  10. by   LaVorneRN
    The recording is a great idea!
  11. by   ktwlpn
    Great ideas,Hello nurse...I can imagine how frustrating it will be for everyone.Many people like to think that they are special and the rules could not possibly apply to them...What a shock they're in for...A former co-worker of mine has serious health problems and was a frequent flyer at our small community hospital-we had to place an "absolutely no visitors" sign on her door at every admission-but every one in the hospital traipsed right on in-she would be so exhausted...She had to start going to another hospital eventually....
  12. by   OzNurse69
    I LOOOOOVE the new privacy regulations (similar to your HIPPAA (sp?)) - have always felt uncomfortable about giving information to anyone, what was crossing the line etc.

    Now, I just say "Sorry, but under the new Privacy Act I am not allowed to give out information about patients. You will have to speak to the pt about that". Some of them get narky, but at least I know now I have the law on my side.
  13. by   gizzy76
    In the Long Term Care facility where I work, right by the entrance doors there is a list of the rooms and who occupies them. I do not agree with that b/c I think it is an invasion of privacy. Just yesterday a couple where standing by the door reading the list. I asked if they needed some help finding someone and then said, "Oh no, we know where to go. We were just seeing who else is here."
    I was speechless. What do you say to that? Considering that every name in the facility is posted right there for anyone to see?
  14. by   LauraF, RN
    I appreciate the new laws. I understand the need for them. But, some of them are just a bit over the line. I'm trying to get my handicapped daughter into the special ed preschool in my district. I filled out the consent, stating who I wanted to have access to her medical file and why. The hospital received it on 4/03, stamped it received on 4/07 and then would not release paperwork for a meeting on 4/11. If I had not been able to get things done the way the hospital said they wanted them within a matter of hours, my daughter would not have been able to get into preschool. I looked at the hospitals form, it said nothing that the other form didn't. Besides this stuff was not suppose to take affect until 4/15. I understand the need for the hippa stuff, but I don't understand the need for seperate and duplicate paperwork. Or the delay. Sorry just venting a bit. Have had a frustrating week.

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