Accessing four days later

  1. Just a general question, is it a HIPAA violation to access a chart of someone you took care of four days later?

    Our system asks our reasoning for accessing chart so I could type in the reason. It would be just to 'check my charting' would that be a valid reason?

    Pregnancy brain and floating to another floor does not make for a healthy mix so I've been racking my brain for days making sure I charted everything on a specific patient because the last hour I spent prepping for surgery and entering orders/dealing with pharmacy to make sure her home medications were continued (Haven't been back to work since)

    it would just be for my own piece of mind and I didn't want to violate HIPPA
    Last edit by strawberryfields on Jul 13
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   RNNPICU
    There really is no reason now to check your charting. You would not be able to chart anything at this point anyways. Also, you are not assigned to that patient anymore so there really isn't a medical reason to access the chart.
  4. by   MunoRN
    HIPAA allows for "late entry" documentation, there is no time limit. You wouldn't be able to look up information that occurred after to finished caring for the patient, but you could refer to information from when you were providing care necessary to completing your charting. Keep in mind I'm referring to HIPAA which can be much different than facility policies, but I've yet to see a facility that didn't allow late entry documentation.
  5. by   RNNPICU
    Quote from MunoRN
    HIPAA allows for "late entry" documentation, there is no time limit. You wouldn't be able to look up information that occurred after to finished caring for the patient, but you could refer to information from when you were providing care necessary to completing your charting. Keep in mind I'm referring to HIPAA which can be much different than facility policies, but I've yet to see a facility that didn't allow late entry documentation.
    While this is true, so computer systems will not allow for certain assessment chartings, etc. Check with your facility to make sure you can do it.
  6. by   JKL33
    No, it is not a HIPAA violation. However, the people who need to answer your question are at your work place. Plenty of places tell their staff their own adulterated version of HIPAA and conflate it with their own "privacy practices" as well. The Feds are not monitoring your chart activity; the people who are in a position to make any issue out of anything you do in a chart are within your own organization. Your manager needs to get an official answer for you, and my suggestion would be that you email the question so that you receive the answer in writing.

    Short version: The question you need to ask is not whether this is a HIPAA violation (as it clearly is not) but rather, whether it violates any workplace-specific policies.

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