The public just doesn't get it. The confidentiality thing. Yesterday at work, I got a phone call. I answer the phone "Med/Surg, this is ....," Caller "Is John Doe there?" I could tell right away that this was NOT
a family member. I reply, "may I ask who is calling?" "A neighbor." "Sorry, I can't release any information." "His wife ask me to take care of their dogs and I need to see how he is doing." "Sorry, I can't release any info. You should try to contact the family." "I just need to know, is he there."
"I can't release any info." "Can I talk to your charge nurse." "She is assisting with a procedure (which she really was) and can't come to the phone. But she will tell you that we can't release any information." Then I hear a click.
Funny thing was, this lady had called our ICU right before she called me. She told the ICU nurse that she thought the pt was right outside of the ICU because the ICU was full and couldn't take him.
The ICU nurse told her that she didn't know who was out on our floor. (We work at a small facility) The lady tried the same nonsense with the ICU nurse. Some people just never give up.
Gee, I hate the telephone sometimes.
Unless a pt specifies at admission that they do not want any info given out, we can verify if we have a certain pt and give out their room number and phone number. Period. I work in OB and have had more than one caller/visitor angry with me because I will not give out even the sex of the baby (or if the baby has even arrived). I tell people that the parents get to give out the happy news and I don't want to ruin that for them. Most people are understanding, but some people just don't get it and will try to pressure me. I had one visitor go to administration to complain because she was the baby's "aunt" and "had a right to know." Guess which side administration backed? BTW, Mom wasn't married to "auntie's" brother and did not want any info given out including whether or not she was a pt.
Last edit by indynurse on Aug 26, '02
Originally posted by Dr. Kate
The public doesn't seem to understand confidentiality until it applies to them. Until it's personal, they feel entitled to any information they want.
The recent one that really fried me was the son of a patient who was a physician in another state (he said) who insisted that he could read his parent's chart, or rather have the information given to him. He further insisted that his parent had an advance directive that said he could do this. Of course, we didn't have any record of the AD. He huffed and puffed and took names and said he would check with his colleagues in his state, huffed and puffed at me some more. Threatened me with his brother, the lawyer (had to refrain from saying "ooh I'm soo scared.") and still didn't get his way. And, yes, he ever so politely slammed the phone in my ear.
Even healthcare people don't get it.
I had a new resident from Tx call here to AZ about his mom. I knew he was a new resident...because first it was the end of July...and we all know what happens in July. Second he was miffed because the his mom's MD didn't call him, and show him any "professional" curteousy(sp??) ...sign. Anyway...he called me up a second time...and after I had already told him I had given the MD his message...when I called and got his mom a Rx for a sleeper. He wanted me to call
the MD..asap...and tell him he wanted him to call him!!
Now you know what I told him... NOT
gonna do it! He said...you're not going to do what I asked?? Did I stutter??? He said why??? I told him...that I had informed the MD of his request...and I was not
going to call him again...and tell him the same thing. But he
was welcome to call his office...and leave that very same message. He politely thanked me...and asked to speak back with his mother...
I felt sorry for him...as his mom was here, and he was a long ways away...but I wasn't that
sorry...as to be stupid enough to make that phone call...:chuckle!
Last edit by Brownms46 on Aug 26, '02