Coworker having access to my password and charting

  1. Here's a little background on what's happening at my facility: My manager has been out for about a month and a half due after having her knee replaced. In her absence, 2 charge nurses on my unit have split her tasks between themselves until she returns. We work at a very small critical access hospital so we're all very familiar with each other. One of these "acting managers" has betrayed my trust in the past (I don't know of any staff who can honestly say they like her); the staff did not get to vote on who would take over while our manager was out.
    I went into work last night and was asked to speak with this not-so-trusted "acting manager" right off the bat. She then informed me she "had to reset my password" to unlock charting on a patient that had been discharged a week ago. Apparently, when the patient got to the floor, the admitting nurse charted she gave a medication (that she didn't) that was given in the ER, therefor charging the patient twice for this med. They wanted to go back and amend that data so the patient wasn't charged twice. At the end of our shift we "lock our charts" so no one can go back and chart during our 12 hour shift. If we unlock those times, people can go back and chart something as a late entry, but always under their own name/account and then relock it.
    I had to reset my password before work last night (on top of my frustration, there are glitches to my account that weren't there before.. such as I can't electronically second nurse verify/sign to high risk meds, but that's not my point here). My point is: Why does my peer have the ability to go in and delete/change my password and have access to my charting? Isn't that illegal?! Under no circumstances are we allowed to give our password to anyone! Everything that I've charted since I've worked at this facility is now compromised. How do I know what she did or didn't do while having that access? They didn't call us to let us know what she was doing or what the problem was; they could have had all of us come in and unlock our charts without changing our passwords. To top it all off, she sent a mass email to all the nurses she "had to" change passwords for and gave us ALL the same default password to reset our accounts. Which means, now I have the ability to change the passwords of my other coworkers...
    I feel very violated. I feel like her actions has potentially put my license on the line. Mine and my coworkers. Everything I worked for is on the line. I'm not sure what to think or feel other than mad as all get out. Where do I go from here? What actions do I take? How do I continue to work there knowing at any time they could do it again?
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    About CorinneRN

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 8
    Med/Surg RN; from US


  3. by   RNsRWe
    You say you work at a very small hospital, but I'd assume it has an HR dept and possibly Legal as well. Contact them, and FAST. You want this on record, in case something else "changed" somehow....all under your name.
  4. by   hiddencatRN
    Wait, so she changed your password to change charting and then told you about it after the fact? I'd take that up the chain of command, for sure.
  5. by   twinmommy+2
    You have to act on that, nothing good can come of it.
  6. by   Mulan
    You probably have a HIPAA compliance officer, I would contact that person.

    Why does she have the ability to reset anyone's password?

    What's the good of having a password if someone else can reset it?
  7. by   sharpeimom
    The whole point of a password is so NO one can access what is -- or should be -- private. You have absolutely no way to know whether or not she changed anything else while she was in there.

    If someone else can change your password, then it isn't a secure password. Sounds to me as though she might be taking advantage of her position and be up to no good. Report her to HR.
  8. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Where is IT in all of this? They should be horrified. Definitely talk to legal and HR.
  9. by   turnforthenurse
    Charting under someone else's name (which is essentially what she is doing) is falsifying documentation and I know at my facility (and at many others) that is immediate grounds for termination. Report her ASAP to IT because it is a data security issue and to HR.
  10. by   akulahawkRN
    I would never allow anyone to chart under my userid. The reason is, I am legally responsible for everything that is in the chart, under that ID, and if I did not put that in the chart, I'm going to make sure that it is documented very well that I was not the person that entered the information into the system at that specific time and date. I do not care who it was that made the entries under my userid, even if it was my best friend at work, I would absolutely refuse to be held responsible for someone else masquerading as me.

    Even though I am "just a student" whenever I enter data into the chart of someone else's patient, I do it under my own name because I am the one that did it, or I'm the one that gathered the information and enter that information into the system. That way, it is very clear who is doing the data entry for that patient at that time.

    If I found anyone making changes to the chart, using my userid/password, I would raise an unbelievable stink about it. At the very minimum, that is considered falsifying a legal document (even though it's electronic) and it could very well could constitute fraud. So yes, I would be on the phone immediately to IT to let them know that I did not request the password change and that someone else has likely been using my userid and password to make changes to a chart that I locked. I would then make an immediate complaint to HR, for the same thing, and also noting that IT was notified. I would also end up taking copious notes, noting who I spoke with and about what so that later I can recall that information.
  11. by   NicuGal
    How was she able to access your stuff? When we have to reset anything we have to go thru IT and provide a bunch of info before they will do it.

    You need to file a complaint. No one outside of IT should be able to access your account!
  12. by   classicdame
    Surely you have an IS department and HR. Both need to know STAT. There has to be a better way of doing business. In our facility even IS does not have easy access to passwords.
  13. by   rnsrgr8t
    You definitely need to discuss with you IT department and upper level management. I know our EMR has the ability to addend a chart and change charges but you do it under YOUR ID/password and you can see who it was that addended the chart. You do NOT have to go in under someone else's ID/password. She is charting under your name which is illegal and making changes to documentation under your name which is also wrong. I see the need to make a correction in the chart if a med was charted/charged for erroneously, but either the nurse who made the error needs to go back and change it our your manage should have a way to change it under her name and ability to document WHY it was being changed. I would take this as far as you can (and probably job search as you go) and I would consider reporting to the State Nursing Board. Keep us updated! Good Luck!
  14. by   nrsang97
    This needs to be reported to IT and HR like the other posters already said. She shouldn't have any access to your password.