Breach of HIPAA to look up one's own medical records at work?? - page 3

Just wondering what the rationale for this rule is- we are not allowed to enter the chart of any patient unless it is for patient care- which of course makes sense. However we were told that this... Read More

  1. Visit  mariebailey profile page
    0
    Quote from psu_213
    Wait...the facilities that prohibit employees from looking up their own charts on the computer are not preventing employees from seeing their records, the are just dictating how they get the information (i.e., they have to go through medical records...the cannot look them up on their own). While I think it is kinda silly to not allow employees to view their own medical records, the hospital is within their rights to force employees to go to medical records like everyone else.
    That is why I said "It looks like it's how you go a/b it that could be the problem."
  2. Visit  sckimrn profile page
    0
    My facility used to have the rule that you had to go to medical records and sign for all the documents, but some time in the last year they changed that. We can look up anything we want on ourselves. Makes sense to me, it's not a violation of my protected information if I'm the one looking it up?...
    Last edit by sckimrn on Oct 24, '12 : Reason: spelling
  3. Visit  NutmeggeRN profile page
    0
    If you can get into a record to view, then could you not make a change? I know there are electronic signatures and there is always a way to find out something with forensics. But if subtle changes can be made....that would be a very good reason for a facility to have a policy.
    Last edit by NutmeggeRN on Oct 24, '12
  4. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    2
    Still it is not a HIPAA violation. Not a HIPAA violation. Not a HIPAA violation. (repeat prn until it's clear what HIPAA really says.)

    Hospitals and clinics often use "It's a HIPAA violation!!!" to cover a lot of laziness or lack of preparation or poor communication efforts-- it sounds scary enough that it makes a lot of uninformed people back the heck off from something the hospital or clinic doesn't want to go to the effort of sharing properly. As asked, the original poster's question is not a HIPAA issue, it's a hospital policy issue, and the hospital should be called on it by requesting to see the section of the HIPAA law that says so. Now, of course, if some uneducated person in HR or medical records is saying it's some sort of HIPAA violation to see your own records, that person can then (and should) be educated, preferably with a copy of the section referring to accessing one's own health record.
    psu_213 and BrnEyedGirl like this.
  5. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    0
    Quote from nhnursie
    If you can get into a record to view, then could you not make a change? I know there are electronic signatures and there is always a way to find out something with forensics. But if subtle changes can be made....that would be a very good reason for a facility to have a policy.
    If it is recorded who looks at a record (specifically that the facility would know that you opened your own chart) then it would also record who made entries or changes of info. I would think it would set off a trigger if you had not been in the hospital (as a pt) for 6 months, yet your chart was just modified. And then they would be able to see that you are the one who did it. In other words, I don't think this (employees can alter their records) is a very good reason for disallowing someone to view their own chart.
  6. Visit  VANurse2010 profile page
    0
    It is most certainly NOT a HIPAA violation, but it may be a violation of facility policy. At my facility, you are allowed to use the system to look up *your own* medical record - not your spouse's, not your family's, not even your minor child's - yours only.
  7. Visit  imintrouble profile page
    0
    My hospital takes the HIPAA stuff seriously.
    We were told that when we sign onto the computer, any screen that we entered could and would be tracked. If we entered areas that we had no reason to enter, we would be in violation of HIPAA. That would be grounds for termination. They meant business. I have never wanted to know something about a pt bad enough to test their resolve.
    If I were the pt, I could ask for copies of my chart, and they would be supplied.
  8. Visit  MDtraumaRN profile page
    0
    i was told the same thing. so i have to sign a form to open my own chart?
  9. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    0
    Quote from MDtraumaRN
    i was told the same thing. so i have to sign a form to open my own chart?
    That depends on hospital policy. It is not a HIPAA violation if you don't sign a form, but your facility may require you to complete a form first.
  10. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    0
    Quote from MDtraumaRN
    i was told the same thing. so i have to sign a form to open my own chart?
    The last place I worked that did this was so that they could charge you a fee.
  11. Visit  Ntheboat2 profile page
    0
    I'd be curious to see my own record, but I'd never do it because I've heard of people who were actually fired for doing it. Even though it's not a HIPAA violation (in my opinion) they have made it CLEAR that it's not allowed. So, going and doing something that they have told you plainly is not allowed would make them have certain thoughts about you as an employee.

    Not to mention, we have the capability of adding notes, etc. I guess someone could go in and chart on themselves if they wanted to for whatever reason, or have a co-worker do it. I don't know why anyone would, but I'm sure someone could think of a reason.

    I don't know why I've never actually gone through with getting access to my record. I'm partly afraid that I'll see things I wouldn't like! Ignorance is bliss at this point.
  12. Visit  Ashley, PICU RN profile page
    0
    I'm not sure if this has been said, because I didn't read all the replies, but:

    You cannot look up your own medical record because the hospital cannot guarantee that the record will remain secure. What if you looked in your record and found something that was inaccurate, or that you didn't agree with, such as: "Patient is non-compliant with diet regimen." Maybe you were given a psychiatric diagnosis you don't agree with. Would you feel like you needed to change that, if you could?

    While you might not, others might want to change their medical record if they could. So by allowing you to look up your own medical record, the record does not remain secure. It's the same reason why when a patient wants to read their chart, a member of the medical records department has to sit with them to make sure that nothing is edited or removed. If you want to see your medical record you have to request a copy, not the original, so that it cannot be changed.


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