Nurses' personal medical records

  1. 0 When I become a nurse, will I still feel my own medical records are private? Starting nursing school soon. I hope other Hospital medical personnel don't just look up their co-workers medical records. How much privacy do nurses have with their personal medical history (except obviously when we are visiting the doctor ourselves for care)? This is probably a really stupid question, but I don't know. Thanks in advance for the insight.
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  3. Visit  Elizabeth 123 profile page

    About Elizabeth 123

    Joined May '10; Posts: 57; Likes: 18.

    35 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Asystole RN profile page
    6
    Yes, your records are private. Unless you were admitted to the facility you were working at there is no way for your colleagues to access your records. Even if you were admitted to your own facility it is a Felony for a healthcare worker to divulge any privileged information.

    Some Nurses are super secret, some drop their pants at a moments notice so you can check out a rash or bump on their girly parts.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, TDCHIM, netglow, and 3 others like this.
  5. Visit  sjt9721 profile page
    1
    AsystoleRN is correct. At most places you're not allowed to access your own records, much less those of a co-worker.

    HIPAA is alive & well at my facility. I just returned from maternity leave after delivering my daughter in April. I'm running into colleagues that didn't know I'd had the baby, much less that we nearly died (r/t amniotic embolus) during the delivery & stayed 10 days in the facility.
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  6. Visit  Elizabeth 123 profile page
    4
    I am very grateful that you and your baby are OK! How scary. Secondly, thank you for the information. I wondered about that. Hugs to your baby....
    MsbossyRN, TDCHIM, sparklie.lady, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  tyvin profile page
    0
    The only way someone could look at your medical records is if you were admitted to that facility or you were seeing the doctor or receiving care from where you work and they were on file.

    It sounds like you might be under the mistaken idea that employers have your medical records on file as part of your employment stuff. Absolutely no employer can request medical records from there employees as condition of employment. Some places will try to get you to list what meds you take but in this instance you are under no legal obligation to do so at least in the state of Hawaii where I am from.

    As mentioned HIPPA rules the day.
  8. Visit  shiccy profile page
    1
    I've never looked up another person's record online unless it's medically necessary (read: I was taking care of them and needed the information)

    That being said, it DOES happen, I'm sure, but unless you were actively TAUNTING them to look your records up, you should be safe.

    Finally ... records from hospital to hospital aren't linked, so unless you get a job at the place you go for care, they wouldn't even know you've been in a hospital at all!

    One thing to note is you might run into problems getting your license if you have some forms of mental illnesses. If this is something that you're afraid of (or the thing you don't want them knowing) then make sure you ask the advisors and get it in writing! If you don't and you're unable to sit at boards because of it, you're screwed.
    Elizabeth 123 likes this.
  9. Visit  Elizabeth 123 profile page
    0
    Quote from shiccy
    I've never looked up another person's record online unless it's medically necessary (read: I was taking care of them and needed the information)

    That being said, it DOES happen, I'm sure, but unless you were actively TAUNTING them to look your records up, you should be safe.

    Finally ... records from hospital to hospital aren't linked, so unless you get a job at the place you go for care, they wouldn't even know you've been in a hospital at all!

    One thing to note is you might run into problems getting your license if you have some forms of mental illnesses. If this is something that you're afraid of (or the thing you don't want them knowing) then make sure you ask the advisors and get it in writing! If you don't and you're unable to sit at boards because of it, you're screwed.
    No, I have no mental illness background (although my teenage son would disagree!! Hah . Very normal, boring medical history background. I just felt "exposed" thinking about working at a large hospital in Virginia where I've been for my own routine procedures & surgeries, which is also connected to many doctor's offices run by the same large hospital group here in Hampton Roads.
  10. Visit  shiccy profile page
    1
    Yeah ... unless you're medically odd (third arm growing off your forehead), people won't even be inclined to look that you've been in a hospital. I promise you that there's many more interesting cases that you'll take care of every day!

    That paired up with the fact that you will take a class on HIPAA that will scare your pants off of EVER looking up a patients information ever again! (Including huge fines, jail time, etc)
    TDCHIM likes this.
  11. Visit  tyvin profile page
    0
    Quote from shiccy
    I've never looked up another person's record online unless it's medically necessary (read: I was taking care of them and needed the information)

    That being said, it DOES happen, I'm sure, but unless you were actively TAUNTING them to look your records up, you should be safe.

    Finally ... records from hospital to hospital aren't linked, so unless you get a job at the place you go for care, they wouldn't even know you've been in a hospital at all!

    One thing to note is you might run into problems getting your license if you have some forms of mental illnesses. If this is something that you're afraid of (or the thing you don't want them knowing) then make sure you ask the advisors and get it in writing! If you don't and you're unable to sit at boards because of it, you're screwed.
    Please explain to me about the mental illness thing.
  12. Visit  tyvin profile page
    0
    Quote from tyvin
    Please explain to me about the mental illness thing.
    What's the story? I certainly wouldn't want people to have incorrect information concerning the release of medications and Dx to the nursing board or the employer since all that is protected under the law and private.

    Please enlighten me. Here in Hawaii you do not have to disclose your Diagnosis to the boards or anyone else.
  13. Visit  Asystole RN profile page
    0
    Quote from tyvin
    Please explain to me about the mental illness thing.
    Many States require that certain mental illnesses to be disclosed immediatly to the Board.

    Pt safety issue.
  14. Visit  nicole109 profile page
    0
    I think that HIPAA is taken very seriously at all facilities--I once had an MRI done where I worked and went in to look to see if the reports were completed, so that I could have my colleagues look at the films for me--both he (being the chief of the department) and I got pulled into legal and questioned as to why we were pulling up the records on a computer on the floor that I worked on. When we explained the situation--they told us that the records should have been accessed on a computer in the clinic, during a visit. That if it became a he said/she said battle--I could easily say that my rights were violated under HIPAA...seems strange and we didn't think we were doing anything wrong at the time, but I guess I can see their point of view.
  15. Visit  canoehead profile page
    3
    Your records are technically private. No one would ever admit that they looked, but they CAN take a chance and a peek. If the audits miss it there are no consequences.

    If your manager has a bee in her bonnet for some reason, and the records are at your hospital...yes, some managers will look. Some occupational health nurses will give information off the record, which is just as devastating as full access to your record.

    At two hospitals I worked in, if you are seen as a patient and test positive for an infectious disease a report goes to the ID department. The ID rep will then contact you and discuss alterations in your work (like masking, or taking a few days off) so you don't spread the disease to patients. There is no wall between patient records, and employee health. Personally I'd rather stay home with my diarrhea in peace, and what happens to HIV+ nurses? If standard precautions aren't acceptable for a stomach bug, then HIV must mean a quick review of your charts to find a good reason to get rid of you.

    I keep all my diseases to myself, and my doc in a different hospital system. Paranoia may be in the DSM, but a little privacy prevents "misunderstandings."
    NeoNurseTX, morte, and 3rdcareerRN like this.


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