Does this constitute as a lack of privacy??

  1. Here is my question for anyone out there with knowledge about privacy laws. In my facility our SS# is used all the time. We use it for entering into the Diebold machine, entering into the glucometer machine, getting into the computer system. In my position I must ask each staff member their number to sign them up for continuing ed classses, and orientation set-up. I don't feel comfortable with this information--I usually have them write it down and then when I am done with letting the various departments have the SS#, along with employee's name, address, and position--I give the paper back to them and encourage them to rip it up.

    It is so easy to assume someone else's identity today and steal their credit etc. Is this a common practice where you work? Does anyone have any info I can take back to the education council to change this practice??? It seems to me using the employee number should suffice.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   researchrabbit
    Our SSNs are on our IDs but most people (including me) black them out (some folks even black out their last name). They are not used for anything else, the hospital issues a number for each person for computer or other access.

    PS I love your seagulls! Makes me want to drive to Corpus Christi!
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    we dont really use our ss# at all. we get a randomly assigned employee number that we use for computers, glucometers, continuing ed. I would not feel comfortable giving others my ss# to be used that way... and I WOULD consider this an invasion of privacy. an employee number that is not useful outside of work should be all they needed.
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Good question zumalong. Doesn't your facility institute some kind of employer ID #? That may be better suited for identification purposes. We use ours for everything in the hospital.

    Heck, even if I have to write a check at the grocery store, they ask me if they can use it!

    Heather
  6. by   Mimi2RN
    We use our SS # for everything, too. I don't like it-I don't carry my card with me, either. Losing your wallet with ss # and drivers licence would be asking for trouble! I did have my number used by someone else about 14 years ago, probably someone undocumented-they paid taxes, but that didn't count for me or them!
  7. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    I do know that the state board uses ss# for ceus' and the hospitals have them on record for them to implented for that reason, I dont think I would allow my ss# to be given out so easily , with the thefts of so many ids' now becoming common I think you are just allowing acess even easier. I would present this issue to the administrators, and let them know how you feel , You are well within your rights to have it removed and not used , each employee has thier id'# it would make since to use that as an entry number since each employee and thier position is recorded through the hospital that way.
    zoe
  8. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by ITSJUSTMEZOE
    You are well within your rights to have it removed and not used
    Yup, this is what it really boils down to. If the girls at Kroger's has to ask, why doesn't our employer? If enough people complain, perhaps they'll look at their practices.

    Heather
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    HIPAA Privacy Rule

    "For the first time, creates national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information."

    Must ask for your consent BEFORE using for treatment, payment and healthcare operations.

    Some Identifiers of Protected Health Information
    *Patient Name
    *Address
    *Zip Code
    *Names of relatives
    *Name of employer
    *DOB
    *Telephone number
    *Fax number
    *E-mail address
    *Finger or voice prints
    *Photographic images
    *SSN
    *Medical record number
    *Health plan beneficiary number
    *Account number
    *Certificate/license number
    *Vehicle or other device serial number
    *IP address any other unique identifier, character, code

    Regulation Text:
    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/regtext.html
  10. by   sjoe
    Using your SS# for everything is probably a left-over from the days before identity theft was so common. You are correct that it is a very poor idea in this day and age.
    When I had a Hawaii drivers' licence, the DL number was my SS#. Don't know if they still do that.
    The business about names on these name tag IDs, however, I have mixed feeling about. You don't see the docs using their first name only on theirs, do you? I don't like people I don't even know, or know very casually, or whom I may not even like, or someone trying to thereby exalt their own status calling me by my first name. Probably a first initial and the last name would make the most sense to me, but again, some people find this to be a security risk to themselves, particularly if they work in psych, corrections, or the ER.
    Regardless, it needs to be up to the person wearing the ID to decide what name and number (if any) is on it, IMHO. The black tape sounds like an excellent editing tool.
  11. by   deespoohbear
    I believe that federal law states you do not have to provide your SSN to anyone EXCEPT your employer for tax/deduction purposes and to the IRS for your taxes. I absolutely refuse to give my SSN to anyone. I have actually stopped taking my business to places that want my SSN for ID for checks. I tell them they can either have my DL# (issued by the state for my license) or nothing. I would be taking this issue up PDQ with the administration. They are just asking for trouble by having this policy. Let us know what happens.
  12. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by deespoohbear
    I believe that federal law states you do not have to provide your SSN to anyone EXCEPT your employer for tax/deduction purposes and to the IRS for your taxes. I absolutely refuse to give my SSN to anyone. I have actually stopped taking my business to places that want my SSN for ID for checks. I tell them they can either have my DL# (issued by the state for my license) or nothing. I would be taking this issue up PDQ with the administration. They are just asking for trouble by having this policy. Let us know what happens.
    There is no need for this. TPTB tend to use SSNs to try to prevent employees from claiming that they attended an inservice when, in reality, they didn't show up & someone wrote their name down for them. Employers are quite capable of coming up with various employee IDs. They certainly make use of them when it is convenient, now don't they?

    It is indeed an invasion of privacy. I won't supply it when writing checks, either. Too much information for less than honest eyes to latch onto!
  13. by   twells
    Our system has over 10,000 employees. We sign for education classes with name and department. I share a name with another employee, but we're in different departments. We both use middle initials too since we discovered there are '2 of us'. No one in HR has ever gotten mixed up and put our records in the wrong file.
  14. by   zumalong
    Thanks everyone--all good points, I plan on bringing this up at next education meeting(this is where most of the use of SS# stems from. We each have our own employee number. They don't change either--because I left for a few years and came back with the same number. I Guess I just needed some fuel for the fire. Thanks.

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