Hippa

  1. Within the past week I have been yelled at by 2 different patient's family members that happened to be nurses. They wanted to look at the patient's chart and I stated that to comply with HIPAA there must be a doctor's order for them to view it. They were absolutely furious and stated that is not true. And I am floored that they reacted that way.

    Is this a policy at your hospital? Or are we one of the few that follows the rules?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Your position is correct, and you could just refer them to the hospital administration to discuss it ... I survey/inspect for my state licensing agency and the Feds, and I conducted one investigation in which a hospital employee got fired for looking at the records of a family member (that the employee had no real reason to look at) and disclosing (only within the family) information that the patient didn't want disclosed.

    (PS -- the hospital chose to fire the employee before we got there, as a result of its internal investigation; we didn't make them do it ... )
  4. by   jemb
    News to me that you can divulge info just because a doctor writes the order!
    Now if the patient says it's okay...
  5. by   unknown99
    In our facility we can disclose information only to whoever the patient says we can. Most of the time we have them sign a consent as to who they want info given to, other than the healthcare team.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The pt. AND the doctor at my facility must give written consent for anyone (including family) to view any pt. info.

    And we keep a stack of HIPAA booklets that better explain HIPAA and what all it includes.
  7. by   barefootlady
    I think medical professionals are the worst offenders of HIPPA. Be assured that you are right in not giving out info when a family members requests it, also a doctor may agree to have the chart reviewed by the family member, but in the end, the patient or the POA must agree for any info to be given to others. There are checks and counter-checks in every institution for HIPPA compliance, follow the guidelines and you will be alright. If the family is still upset and yelling, refer them to the HN, CH, or administration. I hope you have a better day when this happens again.
  8. by   Monica RN,BSN
    I agree with the poster as well, and I also agree that a doctors order will not give you the authority to release information. The order means nothing when it comes down to the patient's right as to who can have information under the HIPAA laws.
  9. by   francine79
    jemb,

    Obviously the patient has to agree to the disclosure of information, but what I was trying to emphasize is the fact that these family member's were nurses at other institutions and when told there must be a Dr. order for them to read the chart, they were absolutely furious and told me that is not true.
    Last edit by francine79 on May 1, '04
  10. by   elkpark
    Every hospital (or other facility) that I've ever worked at has had a policy that a physician's order was needed for a patient or family member to read a chart. I don't believe that's part of HIPAA (but who's really sure at this point? :chuckle ), since I've encountered that for years before anyone even thought of HIPAA, but there's no reason that the hospital CAN'T have that policy.

    You were right to refuse the family member nurses access to the record. It is ALWAYS safer to refuse access when there's any question, than to just let someone look at a record, and more so than ever now. The feds take HIPAA very seriously, and all of the states have some kind of privacy rules as well, which they take v. seriously -- people are losing their jobs over violations all the time.

    I think that the other nurses probably knew good and well that the "Dr's order" policy is a common one -- they were just trying to bully their way into seeing the record.
  11. by   Brownms46
    Quote from francine79
    Within the past week I have been yelled at by 2 different patient's family members that happened to be nurses. They wanted to look at the patient's chart and I stated that to comply with HIPAA there must be a doctor's order for them to view it. They were absolutely furious and stated that is not true. And I am floored that they reacted that way.

    Is this a policy at your hospital? Or are we one of the few that follows the rules?
    I had one nurse, who worked in another area of a hospital I was at, have the nerve to ask me MY NAME, when I refused to give out information on her father in law! I gave her my WHOLE name, and the staff who were sitting in the nurse's station...had a good :chuckle about the way I said it.! I always amazed at nurses who do this,...as if being a nurse family member, is an exception to HIPAA...NOT!

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