HIPAA violation or not..? - page 7

There is a huge ordeal in my clinical group. I have managed to stay out of it (thankfully I wasn't there when it happened and haven't been forced into getting involved), but was wondering what you... Read More

  1. by   twotrees2
    Quote from slou!
    Actually, I'm going to answer part of my own question. I got just my School of Nursing Undergraduate Handbook today and I was browsing through it and I found a paragraph on HIPAA. We are required to read it and sign it, and although I have not taken any nursing classes yet, just pre-reqs, I'm sure I will learn much much more about it, like in Nursing 101, which I take next semester.

    I still have one question though.. I don't understand how if you go to a hospital, and there are visitors there, doctors and nurses are allowed to go up to them and explain the patient's status and health problems. Wouldn't that be a violation? Thanks!

    yes it is a violation iof that person is not on the contact list - i would think that the majority of docs and nurses would know if they are on the lsit and if they dont find out and get permission or it is a violation.
  2. by   twotrees2
    Quote from slou!
    Actually, I'm going to answer part of my own question. I got just my School of Nursing Undergraduate Handbook today and I was browsing through it and I found a paragraph on HIPAA. We are required to read it and sign it, and although I have not taken any nursing classes yet, just pre-reqs, I'm sure I will learn much much more about it, like in Nursing 101, which I take next semester.

    I still have one question though.. I don't understand how if you go to a hospital, and there are visitors there, doctors and nurses are allowed to go up to them and explain the patient's status and health problems. Wouldn't that be a violation? Thanks!

    as for the doc visits getting anything about hippa youd think folks would know but they do not and get very angry when they call and are told i can tell them nothing. especilly hard when there is a POA as you have to find and ask them vs the resident being right there to ask if its ok. i recently had a son call and got so mad he turned me into my supervisors however i was not reprimanded as i was not rude and even tyold the man what he needed to do to get any info from me that i told him i would be very happy to share when he gets that permission and understood why he was angry but my hands were tied. they tried 3 times and finally the wife called back and apologized for his bad attitude and blaming me - ( call the POA and get on the contact list. ) i dont blame him for being angry - but thats the rules so its gotta be. when i do admissions i make sure i ask is there anyone you want to have the info - and suggest family friends etc that they are willing to have the word given to in the event someon eshoudl call to check and they are asleep or unavailable....... saves a lot of hassel as many folks are NOT aware of the rules and are surprised by it...............
  3. by   twotrees2
    Quote from slou!
    Thank you for making that more clear for me! I'm sure I'll get it in much more detail before I do clinicals and all, but I was just curious.

    So, let's say Jane is in a car accident. Jane's husband, Joe, goes to the hospital. The doctor would be allowed to give Joe Jane's information, right? Is it because they are married and Joe can legally speak for Jane when she is unable to speak for herself? What about girlfriends/boyfriends? Or sisters/brothers parents/children or other family members? Sorry if I'm asking too many questions, I'm just trying to get a clear perspective. Thanks so much to all who answer my many questions
    only if the person is unconscious - if the person is not conscious thus incapasatated - then the next of kin get info and a power of attorney for health care and a living will is set up - i encourage all my with it residents to make sure they have one set up as it makes the decision they would want - not what the POA wants. for instance - if i am incapacitated my living will and pwer of health care is set there as my father - my husband has no access to my medical records ( for no reason i need to defend or tell anyone - just the way it needs to be for me) except for what my father decides to tell him ..
  4. by   twotrees2
    Quote from ginger58
    I may be thrown off this forum but in all honesty, some of your replies sound like she killed someone. Every place I've worked there are HIPPA violations going on all over the place involving staff talking about patients in non-confidential terms. There are far worse things being done every day.
    She made a mistake. She probably thought more about informing her friends for their sake and HIPPA was secondary. She can review HIPPA and get on with her career. If it keeps happening then she should be removed.
    Can you honestly say that if your best friend's mother was brought in to the hospital you wouldn't call your friend?

    has happened and yes - i would not tell - killed me for sure but thankfully i saw her 2 days later as the family had let her know.
  5. by   adnstudent2007
    Quote from twotrees2
    if they call and say did they admit a person named so and so i will tell them i can not answer yes or no they wil have to contact the family to see where they are - if they specifically ask for so and so then you know they know they are there - then we go on to checking if they are on the list.
    I am only a student, but the way I understood it, unless a patient is labeled as confidential, directory information could be shared. That is if they are asking about John Doe you can give them the room number and phone number to anyone, just no personal information. The way they ask the question "Is John Doe there?" or "May I speak to John Doe" just seems like a different way of asking the same question. If they are asking if someone had been admitted they just may be verifying that they are correct info (mistakes do get made when passing along info). Am I misunderstanding something?
    Last edit by adnstudent2007 on Nov 10, '06
  6. by   twotrees2
    Quote from adnstudent2007
    I am only a student, but the way I understood it, unless a patient is labeled as confidential, directory information could be shared. That is if they are asking about John Doe you can give them the room number and phone number to anyone, just no personal information. The way they ask the question "Is John Doe there?" or "May I speak to John Doe" just seems like a different way of asking the same question. If they are asking if someone had been admitted they just may be verifying that they are correct info (mistakes do get made when passing along info). Am I misunderstanding something?
    yes - if they specifically ask to speak to so and so who is there you KNOW they know that person is there so you can send the call on however i have ofetn received calls like " i heard so and so went somewhere are they there" or something to that effect where you KNOW by their tone and question they do NOT know if that person is there. or a visitor asks if there is a person named such and such there cause they heard at church they got sick..... yada yada......you will know by tone and question if they know they are there - i have seen a person get in trouble for giving info out to someone like this because the family said if they had wanted that person to know where that person was they would have told them. ( it was very sad too because the person who did not know was not just anybody but a grandson! a grandson who was shut off from his family in a really dysfunctional situation ) sooo in my opinion, if it doesnt sound like they are sure about knowing if they are there , better to not give that info out - never know what or why that person doesnt know-

    i wold guess if you know that person isn't sure about the person being there and you know the resident or patient is there you could tell the person on the phone you aren't sure but would be happy to take thier name and number and if you find out the person thier looking for is there you'd call back - thus giving you a chance to tell the patient and let them call the person or not of they chose to not . personally if it sounds like they arent sure where that person is ( even if i know they are my patient) i tell them to please try to contact the family and get the info.

    honestly i never used to care - id say yes or no as well if i knew someone was there or not, even if i knew they were just searching for that person. but after that situaton of my friends i decided nope never again will i - never know when its gonna be just a nosey neighbor looking for gossip ( ohhh so and so is at such and such hospital i know casue i called them and they said he was there - going on to maybe even set up big rumours in regards to the hospital stay - ive thought often, since i saw my friend get laid into for this, of scenarios that could happen. )
  7. by   IaCountryGirl
    Here is a link to an article pertaining to HIPAA and nursing. Scroll all the way to the bottom and it gives scenarios with the appropriate response. Good article for any present and future nurses.

    http://nursingworld.org/ojin/topic27/tpc27_1.htm#ANA01
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from mysterious_one
    I agree,I am amazed at the condemnation and judgement that is going on here, I hope not one of you will ever make a mistake in your nursing career. I come from Europe and when I first came to the US , I was perplexed to see how quickly everyone get sewed for everything around here. But I see that even amongst themselves in a profession there is just no forgiveness . Did she make a mistake? Yes, do we know the whole story? NO! We should not jump to conclusion and even if I made that mistake, I sure hope that I would be able , especially as a student get a sec. chance. Look around this site, what about med errors, aren't those way more dangerous, no one cried there: fire her, fire her. HOpe you guys never have a brain fart or something like that.
    It has nothing to do with "us" condemning the student.

    It has nothing to with what "we" want at all.

    IT IS THE LAW IN THE USA!!!!!! And if you work/volunteer/get schooled in a health care facility, YOU MUST OBEY THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And if you violate the law, you AND THE FACILITY will be penalized. And if the facility is assessed a fine, how likely is it that it will permit students in the facility in the future. It is hard enough to get enough facilities to place students in for clinical.

    It is a law with a very valid reason. Given the incidence of domestic violence (spousal, parent/child, child/parent), there are many reasons why the law should be followed.

    It is also a law that can be problematic to follow to the letter. HCWs get harassed enough without having to deal with someone deliberately breaking HIPAA.

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