OK, forgive me if you've already seen this as I had posted about this in another forum, forgot which one it was and now I can't find it.
My questions is, how can semi-private rooms be HIPAA compliant?
Last January, I had a little accident in my kitchen resulting in a head injury. My doctor was a little concerned and she wanted me monitored for possible problems. First of all, I will say that as a patient I hate semi-private rooms. I hate dealing with roommate visitors who are complete strangers when a) I'm not comfortable with people seeing me in a hospital gown and b) they seem to have no concept of what visiting hours means. Yes, an announcement is made but the thinking is, "That pertains to everyone except us."
As the nurse was going through my admission process which included a history. I had this patient's visitors listening with rapt attention about my problems, and also, since the patient was slightly deaf, she wanted things repeated for her. :angryfire The nurse understood my concerns and pulled the curtain around the bed, went on doing the history with her visitors listening in and THEY would repeat the stuff that "mom" didn't catch. I really felt that this was an invasion of my privacy.
One of the residents came into my room at 2:00AM to discuss the results of one of the tests (he was actually preparing me for the possibility of an LP) and this lady wanted to know all about it. The doctor said, "You'll have to ask her because it's really none of your business ma'am." (He said it nicer than that). But I really became concerned about more doctors coming in and discussing my case with a lady who wanted to know all my business. Not that I had anything really wrong or personal wrong with my, but my medical information is MY business.
Well, a few minutes later, she started snoring like a freight train. I'm not kidding, it was TERRIBLE!!! My husband on occasion snores but this was NOTHING like that. There was no way I could sleep through this.
I put my call light on and expressed my concerns. Since I picked the middle of January to nearly bust my head open, there were absolutely NO private beds available on med-surge due to flu season. I told her I understood, and I explained the snoring problems and asked if there was another room I could be moved to. While we were having this conversation, this lady starts to snore soooo loud again, and she said to me, "Yeah, I see what you mean and there's no way anyone could sleep through that. Let's see what I can do."
Within a few minutes, I was moved next door into a room with a pt who was in a coma and in the active process of dying. While I felt badly for the daughter in law who was staying there (we ended up having many nice conversations and actually left the room when the doctors made their rounds to talk with me), this was a much better situation.
My question is, how can semi-private rooms be considered compliant with HIPAA? When a pt is admitted, a history is done and the roommate can hear everything. When the docs do rounds, the roommate hears this conversaton as well. When I was in the room with the first lady, I really felt that my privacy was being violated by that woman. Fortunately I wasn't dealing with STD's or anything of an embarassing nature, but I do feel bad for those who feel like they are not only sharing their problems with a nurse/medical team, but with a nosey roommate as well.
Can anyone shed some light on this subject for me?
Next time I need to go to the hospital, you bet I'm going to go to the only one in town with private rooms.