Hippa info. please

  1. I know I should know everything about hippa by now, but it seems it has leaked from my brain as we have been so extremely busy the last couple of months. Please let me know your workplace take on these situations.
    If someone telephones your nursing station asking how 'Granny' is doing, what are you allowed to say? What if they say they are the spouse?
    If the patient tells you on admission it's okay to tell anyone that calls how they are doing, do you then, 4 days later, tell the neighbor that calls what surgery the pt had, etc.?
    If the pt says we can tell only her spouse or children any info., do you believe anyone that calls saying they are one of the above, and tell them everything you are asked?
    Thanks ahead of time for any replies!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   newgrad2004
    You cant prove anyone is a relative. Besides what if the one relative calls whom they dont want to know. The nurses at our hospital just pass the call to the room and let the pt answer their questions politely telling them they cant give out that info.
  4. by   francine79
    The policy at our hospital is the patient has to come up with a password upon admission. Then they are told that they need to tell family members, friend's, etc. the password if they want us to give them information about them. Then when a person calls we simply ask for the password. It seems to have been working very well at our hospital, although we have had a few people complain. However, some patients are relieved that they get to control who gets information about them. I'm not sure how it's implemented at other institutions.
  5. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from plumrn
    ... If the patient tells you on admission it's okay to tell anyone that calls how they are doing... If the pt says we can tell only her spouse or children any info., do you believe anyone that calls saying they are one of the above...
    Question 1 -- Would imagine proper procedure would be to document the patient's request and have them sign-off on it. Then carry out their intention.

    Question 2 -- No, we shouldn't merely accept a caller's claim of being one of the privileged few. Think it's best to explain to the patient how his request will be implemented. If he agrees (again, get a sign-off), then follow through per the procedure.
  6. by   Katnip
    We tried the password system, but it failed miserably. A lot of our patients aren't with it enough to give out passwords or state who they want to have them.

    You can legally give out very generic information as long as the patient has not opted out of the directory. Such as: Grandma slept well last night. She ate a good breakfast, she's been out of bed.

    You can't give information on surgery, tests, or procedures. I always refer them to the next of kin if they want info.

    What I hate is when EVERYBODY the patient knows calls. I had 16 calls in 1 hour for the same patient. I told each and every one, I'm sorry, you'll need to designate a point of contact for the patient since each call we spend taking, is time spent away from taking care of gramps.

    Ever get those calls from family members and friends who want to spend 20 minutes with you listing their own medical problems?
  7. by   plumrn
    Thanks for your replies. Very helpful!
  8. by   Havin' A Party!
    "We tried the password system, but it failed miserably. A lot of our patients aren't with it enough to give out passwords or state who they want to have them."

    Why was this deemed a failure? Couldn't the patient rep (POA, etc.) provide what was needed?

    "You can legally give out very generic information as long as the patient has not opted out of the directory."

    Sorry, but this seems incorrect. Do you have any support for that proposition?

    Thanks!

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