HIPAA--Mixed up discharge papers - page 3

by JeanettePNP | 9,228 Views | 26 Comments

My husband was recently discharged from the hospital following a surgical procedure. I was looking over his discharge papers (after he got home) and realized that he had accidentally been given someone else's discharge papers. ... Read More


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    My wife was discharged from the ER one night. The dialysis center had sent sent her there in a CYA move and we had been in a treatment room for about ten hours and saw her nurse twice, the doctor once. By the time they gave us the d/c paperwork we grabbed it and left. After we were home I was looking through the papers and found prescriptions for BP meds. This made no sense at all since the reason she was sent there was LOW blood pressure. A second look revealed that the prescriptions were for another pt. who was there at the same time. The sheet contained this person's address and phone number.

    I called her and explained the situation. She and her husband came by and picked it up a little while later. She told me she was going to "raise holy hedoubleL" about this. I never heard what happened after that but we did get a letter from the hospital apologizing for the mistake and promising to take corrective action. Not entirely sure why they were apologizing to us but I guess CYA is the byword.
    xtxrn likes this.
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    I don't see this as someone getting in trouble, but a chance to make sure it doesn't happen again (or at least make people aware that it HAS happened). I'd let them know- not in some punitive way, but as a QA situation (and HIPAA).
    Apples&Oranges and klone like this.
  3. 0
    I am in total shock at some of the other comments as well. This just happened to me and I still have not contacted the hospital because not sure what to do but I am furious not to mention it could have been a bit more serious than me just getting someone else's papers. I got discharge papers from an urgernt care center and when I left I always look at my diagnosis....never reading the top of the paper because I know who I am, and all I see is Humon Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). My daughter is in the car with me so I tried to keep calm and put paper away til I could review it later. Well that later was that night so here I am upset thinking I have HIV and no one has ever mentioned that to me and how am I gonna tell my little girl? Well I go to pick up my prescriptions and apparently she was given similar prescriptions as me but hers were for high blood pressure which I do not have. I started feeling funny so I took a look at the discharge papers and read about the prescriptions I picked up and they had called her prescriptions in for me. If the nurse would have just verified my date of birth before giving me the sheet none of this would have taken place. I am not sure if I should contact the person this information belongs to or what I should do but I would be beside myself if I was her and she wanted no one to know of her diagnosis. As for the clinic I think the person should lose their job because that is normal procedure for HIPAA regardless of the diagnosis to verify who the person is matches the medical record. It was just one simple sheet of paper that I got and look what it caused not to mention what could have happened taking someone else prescriptions, especially beings im on Gabepentin already and you have to be very careful what medicines you mix with it. What's your thoughts on that?
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    Quote from kids
    I'd notify the hospital and ask them what they want to do with the paperwork.
    It's not about good karma or bad, it's not about getting someone in trouble (or not). ANY breakdown in the system can be a teachable moment..
    Absolutely this. It may be a one-time thing. But it may be a flaw in the system that needs to be finessed. They won't know unless someone brings it to their attention.
    NRSKarenRN likes this.
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    My thoughts are MISTAKES HAPPEN . Report it so the hospital or clinic is aware of the problem and can try to fix it and move on.
    You are learning a few lessons here...
    Always read your d/c instructions thoroughly before you leave (in case you need clarification on something- or,I dunno-get the wrong forms?
    AND HOW TO MOVE ON.
  6. 3
    I think that some of what we read in this thread is fear...many people are aware that a hospital just might fire a nurse for making a simple error of this sort if they(hospital) believe they know who made the error. THAT is the fix that they will pursue, period. No change of process, no examination of the discharge process, just fire the nurse who made the mistake and congratulate self on resolving problem.
    dudette10, Nurse Leigh, and ktwlpn like this.
  7. 0
    I'd just call the unit and let the charge nurse know, but I wouldn't call administration. They could have a new secretary or who knows, and need to be aware of the mistake.


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