Anyone else think HIPAA rules are getting out of hand? - page 2

My manager told me yesterday that I can't write the resident's last name on our bowel care sheet. For privacy I have to write a room number. Really? The clipboard we keep behind the nurses station where no one can see it needs... Read More

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    My daughter was in the hospital a few years ago, and they told me that I would not be able to get the results of her stool culture unless I went through the proper channels that included a trip to the medical records office, and a whopping 2 week delay in getting that information to me....um really?? She is an infant and I am the mother!! I think that was a little much if you ask me, shouldnt I, as the mother and primary care giver....be in the loop? I get that the doctor is technically the only one who can give me information related to diagnosis, but you better believe if you are planning to treat my child, you will be telling me what for. If you were wondering, she had a diaper full of bloody diarrhea, and they were ruling out ecoli (which was negative) since an ugly strain was going around at the time. She just had a case of c-diff from some other antibiotics she was on previously. But geez...at least tell me the test was negative so that I dont think my child is going to croak from a deadly bacteria.

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    HIPAA does not apply when facilities are collaborating or coordinating the care of a patient (this is why a physician's office, at least they do around here, call a few local pharmacies to see a medication history before prescribing anything). I don't agree with that practice bit it's legal they say.
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    My former MIL is in an LTC, and I am still friendly with my ex. He is POA, and signed papers giving them permission to talk to me. He prefers that they call me and give me info, and then I call him. But they seem to always call him first, anyway, then I have to call back.

    The staff there is very kind, and she is getting excellent care.

    There are other family members who are totally out of the loop, and I would not expect them to call.

    I am glad to be able to help my ex with his mom.
    orthonurse55 likes this.
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    Quote from Tankweti
    Fact is, none of these people has ever seen the HIPAA law. Why? Because it can' be bought anywhere nor is it online in its entirety.
    Regs are available online...

    HIPAA - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    The official central governmental hub for all HIPAA issues including rules, standards and implementation guides.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 14, '12
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    Quote from brownbook
    Yikes!!!! Sorry I don't have a very good imagination. I can understand not wanting family to know someone is in the hospital, I can understand not wanting, allowing, family to visit or see a newborn.

    However we of course had to pass through a security guard and check points just to inter the maternal infant unit. How could we have make it pass all these check points and gotten to be able to actually stand at the newborns bedside without a lot of permission already being given. We would not have gotten that far if the mother hadn't allowed it.

    So suddenly, somehow, my knowing EVERYTHING else about my grandchild, everything about the delivery, seeing what O2 and IV he was on.......but somehow knowing what antibiotic he is on would........well I can't imagine what? Sorry as I said I don't have a good imaginationl
    We regularly have issues with this. If baby has something possibly caused by birth mom's STD, often parents understandably don't want family knowing that, and the antibiotic can be a huge clue. So we keep the antibiotic names private from family members that aren't parents. That's not the only reason that people might want privacy, but it's a big one.

    It's no different than adults. Just because I might not mind someone visiting me in the hospital, it doesn't necessarily mean that I want them to know everything going on with me treatment wise.
    Last edit by wooh on Oct 14, '12
    Rose_Queen, KelRN215, and nrsang97 like this.
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    Yeah Hippa can be a pain, but it is necessary. In the hospital where I work, unfortunately there is a lot of talking in the hallways. The administration has stepped in to put a stop to it. I can not believe what some nurses will talk about in the open.
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    Quote from brownbook
    I have been wanting to vent about HIPAA.

    Having stupid run-ins over the phone when we, a free standing surgical center, request patient information from another hospital!!! I know HIPAA allows this but still we can and do get the run around from medical records or other departments which can be annoying to dangerous in urgent situations.

    In 2004 I was in the NICU, visiting my grandson. Grandson was, is, fine just a precaution after a stressful delivery.

    Purely out of ???? my nervousness ???? just not being sure at that time how we would be, etc. I asked his nurse what antibiotics he was on. She said because of HIPAA she couldn't tell me I would have to ask his mother!!!!!!
    What if we had the kid on acyclovir? then you would know that we suspected HSV or HIV, among others and then you go back to your daughter, "OMG you have HIV!!! you sluuuuuut!" stranger things have happened. This has not happened to me, obviously, but I heard of it happening at an agency hospital I used to work at (p.s. mom had neither and they were being precautionary b/c mom had no prenatal care)
    KelRN215, nrsang97, and wooh like this.
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    I agree with not sharing information with just any family member. That was something I think my old facility was not very good at. Doctors seemed to assume that anyone at the child's bedside (nannies, grandparents, mother's cousin, grandmother's neighbor's son) should be privy to what was going on with the child.

    I'd be very not happy if I was in the hospital with visitors and the doctor (or nurse) came in and said "we're going to do xyz this afternoon" without asking the visitors to step out... or at least asking me if it was ok to talk about whatever in front of them. In fact, when I look back on my medical history, I can think of several doctors who did the wrong thing by not asking my parents to leave the room and/or not asking me if it was ok for them to be in the room. I was eighteen years old so, legally, my parents should not have had access to any of my medical information without my expressed permission. Heck, I had a neuro-psychiatrist who allowed both of my parents to remain in the room as he interviewed me! I don't think it should be up to an eighteen year old to tell the doctor he needs to do his job and ask the parents to leave. Actually, now that I think about it, the only people who I can recall ever asking my parents to step out of the room were my nurse practitioner and an inpatient nurse. Someone at my College's Health Center even gave information to my father over the phone (when I wasn't on speaking terms with him at the time and I was 19 years old!) I also once had a doctor call my mother behind my back (I was nineteen, nearly 20 at the time)... fortunately, I intercepted the message he left on the house answering machine. My mother also found out that my brother (who was 22) was having surgery because the surgeon's office called her house and left a message for him saying "we're calling to schedule your surgery". He was not intending to tell my mother that he was having this surgery and he didn't live with her at the time. I have had two surgeries and been diagnosed with two chronic medical conditions that my family doesn't know about and I'd be pretty peeved if anyone shared that information with them without my expressed consent.

    On the other hand, I think there are a large number of medical professionals who generally don't understand who HIPAA applies to and who it doesn't. Many of my former colleagues would refuse to talk to a child's pediatrician due to "HIPAA" but would have no problem talking to the child's step-father or aunt.
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    Yeah, maybe kind of sort of that could happen.

    However it is still wholly stupid if you ask me. And honest!!! I am a nurse and because that is not really my area of nursing I don't know or remember that acyclovir may be used for HIV, and I doubt if a non-medical person would, so that makes it even more of a really far stretch.

    I hate it when one totally weird exception, a family finding out patient is on _______drug, patient sues the hospital, makes the rules for everybody else to follow. So families have to jump through all kinds of stupid hoops to know about or care for loved ones because of one stupid extremely rare (if indeed it ever has or would happen) incident.
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    PS

    It makes no sense. If a patient is in a hospital, if a patient says yes my family may know I am here, may visit me, etc. then (I am not a lawyer) but that would give implied consent that family visitors are going to see the patient. See the some or part of the medical treatment going on with the patient.

    "Yeah my family can visit but they can't see my surgical dressing, can't met or know of my surgeon or internist, can't see I have an IV, can't see my right leg is in a cast, etc."

    Maybe we should have all visitors wear masks over their eyes..... every visitor could have a volunteer guide them around......yeah that's the ticket!


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