Detectives and PD- how much information can we give out?

  1. 0
    I work in a mixed ICU, medical and surgical. We get traumas, and sometimes the patients are associated with a legal situation, whether it be they are a victim, the perp, or are just being investigated due to the nature of their situation/accident, etc. I recently had a detective come into the unit and ask about my patient, knew that we had blood work on her, and was prodding about her drug screen. What kind of policies do you have out there that protect the patient while also allowing us not to impede or delay an investigation? I did not answer him when he flat out asked me if she was positive for heroine because they suspect that she is involved in a drug circle in town, but he definitely was aggressive about it. I never feel comfortable telling detectives information about the patient but mostly don't ever know what I can tell them and what I cannot. For example, I have been asked about injuries in detail and what surgeries they have had.. that patient was a victim of a crime. I just feel so confused about what is allowed and what isn't! Please help!
  2. 1,497 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    This is a great question for the risk management department at your facility. That way, you are sure that you are complying with the law and with your facility policies.
  5. 0
    Quote from FLGAZRN
    I work in a mixed ICU, medical and surgical. We get traumas, and sometimes the patients are associated with a legal situation, whether it be they are a victim, the perp, or are just being investigated due to the nature of their situation/accident, etc. I recently had a detective come into the unit and ask about my patient, knew that we had blood work on her, and was prodding about her drug screen. What kind of policies do you have out there that protect the patient while also allowing us not to impede or delay an investigation? I did not answer him when he flat out asked me if she was positive for heroine because they suspect that she is involved in a drug circle in town, but he definitely was aggressive about it. I never feel comfortable telling detectives information about the patient but mostly don't ever know what I can tell them and what I cannot. For example, I have been asked about injuries in detail and what surgeries they have had.. that patient was a victim of a crime. I just feel so confused about what is allowed and what isn't! Please help!
    I work Risk. Our policy is to have the detective come to risk. We get a copy of their business card, and give them the information they need. They are in a way covered to get information depending on the situation. It's almost the same when the state comes in. We get their information and give them what they want. I have had a couple incidents where they (State or PD) called the hospital. At that point we have them send over their official letter head, and the information that they are requesting. But the best thing to do is to talk to your risk mgmt dept.
  6. 1
    I would think that they would need some type of court order for certain information, such as results of a drug screen. Would probably have to read through HIPAA to get a clear answer on this.
    BrnEyedGirl likes this.
  7. 0
    Thanks everyone for the replies. It is definitely a shady situation and no one on our unit ever has a clear answer as to what to do when this happens. Detectives are often a lot more pushy than PD. Next time this happens I will definitely be talking with risk management.


Top