HIPPA questions

  1. Am I the only one who thinks the new HIPPA regs are going to clash horribly with the kiss-but customer service and open visitation policies in place in most hospitals?
    I understand the new regs to mean that no info can be given out to anyone without the signed permission of the patient. We have many patients in the trauma unit who come into us intubated, unconcious, unable to sign anything. You have to get consents from someone, which you certainly can't get if you can't give out info about the patients condition. If my husband were in a accident, came to the hospital unconcious, they couldn't tell me anything?

    Don't forget all the nosy visitors who ask questions which we'll have to refuse to answer. Anyone can go in a room, read the labels on the IV bags, go home look up the names on the internet, and learn about a patients condition.
    I've had patients with visitors who claim to be the wife, then the next day another woman claims to be the wife.
    Do any of your hospitals ask for ID or proof of power of atty, etc from famililes before giving out any info? Do you screen visitors? Except for peds and newborn we don't.

    The other night while we were withdrawing a brain dead patient from the vent. The family wasn't found for a couple days, when they were, they decided they didn't want him to suffer. Any Joe schmo on the street could come in, claim to be the patients family and ask to have them withdrawn. Farfetched, maybe. Ya'll let me know if I'm crazy. You always do
    Last edit by VAC on Mar 3, '03
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    So far HIPAA is promising to be a nightmare for research.

    Every consent needs to also have a authorization form or waiver to obtain identifiers, like address, phone, etc.

    This information can be coded, but the researcher can't code it (as in, have the "key" - that must be originated and maintained by the providor who owned the info to begin with).
    Ya, I see that happening.

    I obtain a patients for research from a physician's practice, of which I am not employed with. I collect the data, but now can't transport it in my car OR my laptop after April 1, and if the identifiers are removed and coded, the doctor's office needs to do that and not the Prinicipal Investigator?? Ya right.
  4. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by VAC
    Am I the only one who thinks the new HIPPA regs are going to clash horribly with the kiss-but customer service and open visitation policies in place in most hospitals?
    I understand the new regs to mean that no info can be given out to anyone without the signed permission of the patient. We have many patients in the trauma unit who come into us intubated, unconcious, unable to sign anything. You have to get consents from someone, which you certainly can't get if you can't give out info about the patients condition. If my husband were in a accident, came to the hospital unconcious, they couldn't tell me anything?

    Yep. I think HIPPA is going to be the biggest PIA for healthcare since HMO's evolved. Maybe some of the scatterbrains that came up with the wonderful piece of crap will feel the direct effects from it someday. I hate politicians!!
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I had a patient a week ago, for 2 days I took care of her post c/s, and a rough recovery at that. Just every possible complication that could have happened, did. And to top it off, her baby was in NICU, which is literally just a double-door away from my unit. Many visits back and forth with her. She was dc'd home on Thursday.

    I worked this weekend, and gave a ring back to the unit to see how the baby was doing. And a nurse that I know fairly well told me that she really couldn't share that info due to HIPPA.

    And we have officially and permanently closed the blinds to the windows in the nursery. That's a HIPPA violation too.

  6. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by OBNURSEHEATHER
    I worked this weekend, and gave a ring back to the unit to see how the baby was doing. And a nurse that I know fairly well told me that she really couldn't share that info due to HIPPA.

    And we have officially and permanently closed the blinds to the windows in the nursery. That's a HIPPA violation too.

    Bites doesn't it? We have to transfer patients to Ft. Wayne for care sometimes and now we don't know what the outcome of that patient will be. I never thought of it being nosy, just being concerned. I guess healthcare and nursing will appear to be a less caring profession since we can't even make general inquiries into how former patients are doing.....might be enough to make some of us want to get out of healthcare. In an career area where shortages are already being felt (not only in nursing, but also pharmacy, therapy, etc) the government goes and makes it more difficult.
  7. by   nimbex
    yep, but just experienced a HUGE violation, which reaffirms the "intention" of the hippa law.

    My ICU patients significant other works on another floor as a nurse. That same floor sent me a very sick patient. The staff from that floor, distraught over the events of this patient decompensation shared everything with the significant other (who is on leave)..

    I'm talking DETAILS, lab values on and on. I know this because I cared for both patients last night... and the significant other said to me "I know your busy with so and so with .......... going on".. His nurse downstairs told me all about his ..........


    and man she knew more details than I did. THIS IS SO INAPPROPRIATE! I responded...."May I suggest you never repeat what you have just told me, because your conversation violated hippa and the patients bill of rights, both you and the nurse downstairs could be fired and this conversation is beyond inappropriate.".

    The few that have such a lack of professionalism have demanded this crazed unrealistic legistlaion, which makes caring for patients so much more difficult.

    I am still debating if it should be reported. I hope my comments will stirr some thought process, but don't tell me that now as nurses we must be the hippa poliece too?!!!
  8. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    Get this!! I took my 10 y o daughter to the doctor Friday and was told that I could not go into the exam room with her. Excuse me, but I made a bit of a scene. Seems HIPPA says it would be a violation of my daughter's privacy! She's 10! No way in HELL I'm letting her go back there w/o me! Looking for a new doctor now....
  9. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Yeah, I see this p*ssing off alot of parents.
  10. by   VAC
    Wait as minute, as a minor, the 10 year old child is not legally able to give anyone permission to access their medical info. The child cannot be treated without the parents consent, you cannot give informed consent without access to some medical info on your child. Am I missing something here????
  11. by   sbic56
    Originally posted by VAC
    Wait as minute, as a minor, the 10 year old child is not legally able to give anyone permission to access their medical info. The child cannot be treated without the parents consent, you cannot give informed consent without access to some medical info on your child. Am I missing something here????
    I'm with ya...this can't be the way it is supposed to work...or is it??
  12. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    I must have missed something too. As far as I'm concerned until my kids are 18, they have no privacy! Well, maybe some privacy..lol. Is this office going overboard or do you think it's like this everywhere??
  13. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by BelindaLPN
    I must have missed something too. As far as I'm concerned until my kids are 18, they have no privacy! Well, maybe some privacy..lol.

    My thoughts exactly. As long as I am paying their medical bills and such I will be entitled to information concerning my child's healthcare.

    My guess is the office went overboard. I thought HIPAA stated that the POA of healthcare or the parents of a minor child had the right to any information concerning that patient's healthcare condition and treatment. I don't think our doctor would even consider asking the parent of a minor child to stay in the waiting room while the child was examined. Plus I would think the doctor would be setting himself or herself up for possible accusations of improper behavior with a minor if he or she would examine a child without any other adult in the room.

    I wish I had a list of all the congress people who voted for HIPAA. Then I would know who not to support when election time comes around.


    Nimbex, the situation you are talking about is totally out of line. I think most of us are talking about just finding out in general how a patient is doing. Are they improving or are they going down the tubes? I could really care less about all the pertinent details of their condition. I am just trying to be a caring human being. There have been several times I have been done with my shift and a patient was not doing well. I would love to know later in the evening how that patient faired, but now I am not even allowed to inquire about them. It's like you have established a relationship with a certain patient or family but once your shift is done you are suppose to turn off the caring button and forget about them. Easier said then done. :stone
  14. by   sunnygirl272
    I'm sorry ma'am...you cannot go into the exam room with your 18 month old dtr to have her examined for otitis media...that would be a violationof her privacy.......

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