Is this a HIPPA violation?

  1. One of our physicians is a patient on our unit. He is well loved, and everyone was/is concerned about him. Our unit is small (28 beds). Would you consider it a HIPPA violation to for the charge nurse to discuss minor details of his case with another nurse on the unit? (One that was not assigned to that patient that night)
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    for what reason would this patient be discussed with a nurse who is not assigned?

    would that nurse be expected to cover during breaks for the nurse who is assigned, at some point during the shift?
  4. by   bill4745
    Unless the other nurse would be taking care of the pt in some way, it was a violation.
  5. by   Sabby_NC
    Quote from 2shihtzus
    One of our physicians is a patient on our unit. He is well loved, and everyone was/is concerned about him. Our unit is small (28 beds). Would you consider it a HIPPA violation to for the charge nurse to discuss minor details of his case with another nurse on the unit? (One that was not assigned to that patient that night)

    I would say that was a big fat no no!!:uhoh21:
  6. by   jmgrn65
    Unless the Nurse had a legitimate need to know, then yes it is a Hippa violation. Did the Physician tell the unit they can discuss his care with everyone? i am thinking probably not.
  7. by   2shihtzus
    Basically we all cover eachothers patients when someone goes on break. I wouldn't classify it as a "legitimate" need to know...and the nurse ended up being assigned that patient the next night. People had been calling the unit to inquire about the patient and we refused to give out any information. But the discussion between the two nurses was nothing malicious or nosy...
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    Any professional who might have need to enter the room and provide care has a need to know about that patient. On our med-surg and CCU/ICU, we hear report on all the patients. We also discuss our patients with one another because we are peers.
  9. by   2shihtzus
    Thats basically the attitude that we have on the floor....although we don't all listen to report. I think that we are all a collaborative team working for the benefit of all the patients on the floor, not just the ones that we are assigned.
  10. by   Quickbeam
    It's HIPAA. I'm only saying this because I saw a presentation done last week by a physician who was mortified that he got this wrong on his PowerPoint presentation.

    To the topic, I think all health information should be limited to those with a professional need to know.
  11. by   snowfreeze
    We do share critical information needed to care for patient needs on any unit. Everyone should know a little bit about any unstable patient on most units. Everyone should answer all call lights, not necessarily meet all needs of all patients but acknowledge that the patients nurse will be there soon or find them some assistance if you are too busy.
    In answer to your question, depending on what was shared and with whom and was it so that the whole unit could provide proper care will determine if this was hippa violation. Now if the charge nurse was sharing information in an area outside of that unit or to someone who would never have a reason to do any direct care of that patient then I would say Yes hippa violation. Discussing intense medical information with anyone but direct care givers is a hippa violation.
    Activity orders, dietary orders like NPO, fluid restrictions, thickened liquids etc can be shared for patient safety. I hope that helped
  12. by   leslymill
    I don't agree. Discussing patients care on a unit is a team protocol. Communication is important. What we are wondering is why YOU think it is a HIPPA violation. If it is minor issues about his care, fine, if it is minor gossip that isn't so fine. Only you heard what you heard. Your ears are up and your questioning it... so..? Get a mental image of the doctor there listening to them talking about him...Would he be offended? Would you be offended if it were you.if so ..how offended?
    Then you can simply address them with, I don't think that this is appropriate discussion about one of our patients. Is best to nip questionable conduct in the BUD.
  13. by   pirap
    I don't think this would be considered a HIPPA violation. The charge nurse is "in charge" and it is her responsibility to know a little about what is going on with ALL HER patients on her floor--all of them from a homeless woman to a well respected physician. On our floor we talk about patients to each other..such as "I have this patient that is having this problem..I did xyz..What would you have done?" The charge nurse frequently asks us questions about our patients. I believe that its just being responsible and accountable. What if something goes bad..I bet she would be included in a law suit..
  14. by   EricJRN
    Quote from pirap
    The charge nurse frequently asks us questions about our patients. I believe that its just being responsible and accountable. What if something goes bad..I bet she would be included in a law suit..
    The way I read it, this scenario actually involves a charge nurse sharing a patient's info with a nurse that isn't caring for him.

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