Two months ago, I went to the ER (I work in another unit at the same facility) with status migranosus for IV hydration and treatment. Two days later, I went back to the ER with a red streak running from my IV site up my biceps. Thrombophlebitis with possible MRSA infection, the attending said. Got IV/PO Clinda and had blood cultures drawn, with instructions not to return to work for 48 hours.
Once back at work, I looked up my labs for the final BC report (thought it might be a good idea to make certain I wasn't infected before handling babies). Since my PMD does not have admitting priviledges at my hospital, it could be several days before her office received the results by mail and who knows how long before her office called me. So, I looked it up myself, and was reassured by the negative result.
Today, I was notified that I am being disciplined for 'Violation of Confidential Medical Information'- aka a HIPAA violation. I have, apparently, VIOLATED MY OWN PRIVACY by looking up my own labs. What the ???
For the next three months, every sign-on with my password will be reviewed to make sure I am only accessing information for patients I am directly caring for. If I am in found to be violation of these terms (which I certainly am not going to do), I will be terminated.
Now, I wasn't snooping around to find out a coworker's Hep status, or prying into the file of a VIP patient on another unit- I was looking up my own information, for Pete's sake! "The organization takes privacy very seriously and views looking up your own information as serious a violation as if you had looked up someone else's medical information," I was told.
I know plenty of other RNs I work with who have looked up their own information. Or their kid's radiology reports. Or their husband's labs. I seem to be the only one, though, being disciplined. And to be put in the same penalty box as those who have snooped into the files of other patients or coworkers makes me upset. I think my hospital is taking HIPAA to a huge extreme here.
Anyone else here been taken to the woodshed for 'violating their own privacy'?
Dec 20, '06
My other thought is that if there was a question that a positive test result would indicate that a person shouldn't be working around babies, then it makes no sense that the instructions to not return to work were only for 48 hours. It should have been until test results were in, and the time it took for the results to be back shouldn't have been so casual, if the results could have an effect on other people.
Also, here's another angle: using work time to look up personal information.
Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 20, '06
Dec 20, '06
OK. This is the point where HPPA regs. and policies should be examined, or re-examined, I should say In my opinion, anyway. That is XXXX ridiculous and I'd be so inflammed I'd quit on the spot. That is the most ludicrous, atrocious violations of YOUR rights I've ever heard of....what about one of the organizations that offer legal advice/support free of charge and even represent one when one's own legal rights have been violated?
Last edit by sirI on Dec 20, '06
: Reason: TOS