HIPAA questionRegister Today!
- by SneakySnake Jun 5, '11I wanted to make a cheat sheet to use at work. I have no access to a computer at work so I would have to type it up on my home computer. The cheat sheet would have a room number and patient name nothing else. Would this be a HIPPA violation? If that is a violation would using room number and patient initials solve the problem? When at work I would use it for notes but then I would shred it before I left the facility. I have googled this question but I am still confused.
- Jun 5, '11 by AJPVWould the patient names & room numbers ever exist on paper or on your personal computer hard drive outside of the facility? If the answer is yes, I'm thinking this leans in the direction of a violation. If you're simply printing a blank spreadsheet grid that you later use at work to hand-write names & room numbers so that the actual patient data exists on the paper only at the facility and you never bring that data home (ie, you put the paper in the shred box before leaving the facility), I don't think it's a violation. As long as the patient/room data only exists on the paper while the paper is inside the facility, and as long as you ensure that no unauthorized people have access to that paper while it exists in the facility (ie, don't lose it & make sure it actually makes it into the shred box), then I think you're okay. That's the interpretation of HIPAA that I've picked up, although I'm not a lawyer!
- Jun 5, '11 by LauraDarlingI have an APP on my phone that I use. If you use a room # like 03 minus the floor number and use only patient initials, you should be fine. Best bet- ask your charge nurse. Where I work we can use printouts of our patients and write our notes on them- and we do make sure to shred them before we go home.
- Jun 5, '11 by Asystole RNAs long as it did not leave the facility and was used for the care of the patient you are fine. The full name is ok to put on there but make sure you protect that piece of paper.
- Jun 5, '11 by SneakySnakeQuote from Asystole RNI would have to print it off at home. I could print off one "master" form and copy it at work in the future. It would look like this (if I used initials)except it would be in a table and there would be room for notes following each entry.As long as it did not leave the facility and was used for the care of the patient you are fine. The full name is ok to put on there but make sure you protect that piece of paper.
I also thought hipaa covered medical info? I am not doubting any of you but I am still just confused about the whole subject. I am confused how a list of numbers and names (or initials) with no other information on it would be a problem?
- Jun 5, '11 by FLArnRoom numbers and headings of info such as I&O, BM, Labs, Dx. etc would be fine even on your home computer. I would steer clear of anything that would even give a clue as to patient identity.
Names would identify the person as a patient that would be a violation.
- Jun 5, '11 by AJPVEven the mere fact that a certain person is/was a patient at your facility (identified by their name) is protected HIPAA info. So if you have a piece of paper laying on your desk at home that says "201 John Doe," a court could conclude that someone else living in your home (a person not authorized to have the protected information) could conclude, based on their knowledge that you are an employee at facility XYZ, that John Doe was in fact a patient at facility XYZ. Your making available of this protected info to an unauthorized person constitutes a HIPAA violation.
You're much safer to use only patient initials since that eliminates definitive identification of patients. But you're even safer to not let patient names OR initials exist on paper outside of the facility walls.
- Jun 5, '11 by GM2RNHaving pt names on a piece of paper, in and of itself is not a HIPAA violation. It only becomes a violation if someone without a need to know gets access to that information. So as long as you aren't leaving it lay around at work for just anyone to see, it's fine.
- Jun 5, '11 by melsteiRemember that there are a whole slew of "identifiers" that are protected under HIPAA that go way beyond patient name (date of birth, diagnosis, test results, plus tons more!) If any of these are on your home computer, you can be slapped with a privacy breach accusation. Also, under the new HIPAA rules, patients can take legal action against individuals and not just the organization (you directly can be sued if anyone believes their privacy has been compromised!!)
Your best bet is to only take what is absolutely necessary home with you. If you don't need it, don't take it. It's not worth the risk!!!
- Jun 5, '11 by SneakySnakeThe only info I have brought home is room number and how the meds are taken.....but boy am I glad I asked! First day on my own is tomorrow. Wish me luck