Semi-private

  1. How many of you still have semi-private rooms where you are? Does anyone know why it's not a HIPPA violation?

    Most hospitals where I live have all private rooms, but the one where I currently work has private and semi-private. I haven't met one person yet who actually wants to share a room, but they don't have a choice lots of times. Of course the patient in the other bed and their visitors can hear everything being said and I sometimes wonder how much medical information patients aren't telling us because they don't want some stranger to hear. Then you always run into someone asking questions about the other patient you aren't allowed to tell and have to explain patient confidentiality to them.

    One night, I had a patient call to say that the other patient (confused) was trying to climb into bed with her. I can only imagine how she must've felt being asleep and then awakened by someone she didn't know doing this.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   puggymae
    The hospital I currently work in still has semi-privates, but they are slowly changing them to privates (and adding an addition to double the # of rooms). Years ago this same hospital had two 10 bed wards - one male and one female. There were two restrooms for each ward and a shower stall (but back then we mainly gave everybody a bed bath) There were curtains between each bed. And there were no secrets! Everybody knew about everybody else.

    We also had a five bed labor ward! This was before epidurals and it was not uncommon for all of the moms to literally be in there howling in chorus.

    I am sure that alot goes unsaid because of semiprivate rooms. And I am sure that it violates HIPPA.
  4. by   RNfromMN
    I don't get it, either. I have one hospital I go to for clinical that is semi-private & most health care professionals will agree that HIPPA kinda goes out the window in this situation. As long as you provide some degree of privacy (pulling the curtain & speaking in a normal tone of voice) I don't think it's really something you can be held liable for.

    I think shared rooms still exist because HIPPA is still a relatively new concept & a lot of places just can't afford to redesign their entire facility to accommodate it.
  5. by   Tweety
    We have semi-privates. We do indigent care and are frequently full this time of year. People can pay for a private room if they choose.....if one is available. We would have to build another hopsital wing to go to all private rooms.

    As far as HIPPA, it's definately hard to talk to a patient about their condition, teaching, etc. with another patient and family in the room. We're supposed to close the curtain and speak softly so the other person doesn't hear....yeah right.

    I haven't heard of anyone getting fined for speaking to a patient in a semi-private room. Has anyone else?
  6. by   miko014
    We have mostly privates on my unit d/t neutropenic and chemo pts. There are 3 rooms that are still semi-private, but we only double pts up as a last resort. Many of the other floors do still have semi-private rooms. I agree, it's a big HIPAA issue, but as stated before, most facilities can't just jump up and remodel to accomodate that.

    We have a bigger issue on my unit...the building is so old that the doorways are very small. A pt cannot take a walker into the bathroom with them unless they are able to turn sideways and shuffle in. Now doesn't that sound like a JCAHO issue? Hello, patient safety?? We were told that it can't be fixed d/t structural issues. Funny, though...both of the floors below us have been remodeled to have bigger bathroom doorways. One is mother/infant, and they have VERY nice bathrooms down there (showers and everything!). The other is ortho, and I guess it was a big problem for them (obvioulsy) that the doorways were so small, so they just widened them. Hmmmmmmmmmmm...(sorry, I guess that last paragraph was a smidge off-topic )
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    2/3rds of the floor is semi-private.

    Our Private rooms get assigned by need (isolation/combative/confused patient etc.) than want (patients desiring private rooms).
  8. by   suzy253
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    2/3rds of the floor is semi-private.

    Our Private rooms get assigned by need (isolation/combative/confused patient etc.) than want (patients desiring private rooms).
    Ditto. Most of the private rooms on my floor are isolation cases.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Recently when receiving medical care, one of the HIPAA privacy notices I signed stated that they would not be responsible for the inadvertent overhearing of info in the normal conduct of their business. Example: overhearing phone cons or other pts talking to the admitting clerk or office personnel. This was the only place I have ever noticed that put this wording in their notice to protect themselves from this specific HIPAA violation accusation.
    Last edit by caliotter3 on Jan 16, '07
  10. by   TiffyRN
    In our NICU most of our rooms are ward-like with between 5 and 16 patients in each. We do have an isolation room but it can be used for more than one patient and often is. I have only heard of a rare NICU that has private room set-ups.

    There is virtually no privacy of information. Docs speak openly to the parents at the bedside with other parents/visitors all around. And trust me; the other parents are listening in.

    Now, someone out there help me out but I have heard that there are virtually no HIPAA violations followed through on. Like there has only been one criminal level HIPAA conviction in it's history and there are almost no fines actually handed out. I also went to the HIPAA site and found an article they posted that stated that less than 25% of reported violations are even deemed worthy of further investigation.

    What I'm saying is; people freak out a little too much about HIPAA. Yes, respect patient's privacy, don't discuss their conditions, but don't obsess!

    And trust me, most hospitals that weren't already planning to go all private for consumer reasons (pleasing the customer) aren't going to do it just for HIPAA. They will find a way around it rather than all that expensive construction.
  11. by   hollyvk
    hipaa does not mandate private rooms:

    "the privacy rule does not require these types of structural changes be made to facilities.

    covered entities must have in place appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information. this standard requires that covered entities make reasonable efforts to prevent uses and disclosures not permitted by the rule. the department does not consider facility restructuring to be a requirement under this standard.

    for example, the privacy rule does not require the following types of structural or systems changes:

    - private rooms."

    http://answers.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/hhs.c...er/std_alp.php

    if appropriate safeguards are in place, any "incidential disclosures" are permissible. thus no need for a "cone of silence" (anyone remember that from maxwell smart/get smart?) :roll

    hollyvk

    Quote from scrn1
    how many of you still have semi-private rooms where you are? does anyone know why it's not a hippa violation?

    most hospitals where i live have all private rooms, but the one where i currently work has private and semi-private. i haven't met one person yet who actually wants to share a room, but they don't have a choice lots of times. of course the patient in the other bed and their visitors can hear everything being said and i sometimes wonder how much medical information patients aren't telling us because they don't want some stranger to hear. then you always run into someone asking questions about the other patient you aren't allowed to tell and have to explain patient confidentiality to them.

    one night, i had a patient call to say that the other patient (confused) was trying to climb into bed with her. i can only imagine how she must've felt being asleep and then awakened by someone she didn't know doing this.
  12. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from puggymae
    The hospital I currently work in still has semi-privates, but they are slowly changing them to privates (and adding an addition to double the # of rooms). Years ago this same hospital had two 10 bed wards - one male and one female. There were two restrooms for each ward and a shower stall (but back then we mainly gave everybody a bed bath) There were curtains between each bed. And there were no secrets! Everybody knew about everybody else.

    We also had a five bed labor ward! This was before epidurals and it was not uncommon for all of the moms to literally be in there howling in chorus.

    I am sure that alot goes unsaid because of semiprivate rooms. And I am sure that it violates HIPPA.
    I see from your profile that you are only 44. I was sure you were describing something out of the 50s. I can't believe that hospitals were still like this in the 80s.
  13. by   Silverdragon102
    HIPPA would have a field day with UK hospitals as most are long wards with very little in the private room or smaller bays of 4 upwards depending on when the hospital was built. We have to think a lot about privacy and confidentiality but still people manage to find things out
  14. by   Sunflowerinsc
    Quote from ChayaN
    I see from your profile that you are only 44. I was sure you were describing something out of the 50s. I can't believe that hospitals were still like this in the 80s.


    Believe it!!!!!!!

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