HIPAA Question or ethics issue?

  1. 1
    I am a private duty peds nurse. The mom of my tiny patient has a special blog that is for people who have kids with chronic issues to post updates on how the child is doing. She has given me access to view the blog. Is subscribing to this blog a HIPAA violation? Or could it be a nurse ethics issue?
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 18 Comments...

  3. 2
    I would not participate. Better safe, than sorry. Write a communication note to inform your employer of your refusal (or otherwise) to get involved. Your employer will probably tell you the same thing I said.
    jadelpn and spectrabrite like this.
  4. 1
    I can't imagine any circumstance where subscribing to a blog would be a HIPAA violation. If you posted or shared info, that would be another story, but merely subing and viewing a blog is in no way a HIPAA violation. As far as ethics, there are boundary issues involved, but it's a grey area. Does your wmployer have a policy about this?
    GrnTea likes this.
  5. 2
    What would be the purpose or intent of visiting and reading this blog?

    I would suggest that her blog is a personal thing and that your professional boundaries would be less tested by avoiding that sort of personal interaction...you just can't anticipate where some paths lead.

    just my honest opinion.
    jadelpn and caliotter3 like this.
  6. 3
    Simply stated: it's better to err on the side of caution and avoid any participation. You never know how something like this can be construed by crafty lawyers looking to uphold client's rights to privacy (trust me, I know).
    jadelpn, nurse671, and spectrabrite like this.
  7. 2
    I don't see a problem. The parents of chronically or terminally ill children very often have blogs. I don't see how following it would be a HIPPA violation. The mother isn't held to any HIPAA guidelines.
    Tragically Hip and Aurora77 like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from somedaypeds
    I am a private duty peds nurse. The mom of my tiny patient has a special blog that is for people who have kids with chronic issues to post updates on how the child is doing. She has given me access to view the blog. Is subscribing to this blog a HIPAA violation? Or could it be a nurse ethics issue?
    I don't believe it is a hippa violation to look at or read the blog; these are not hospital records and you are not sharing information. It may however be crossing a professional boundary, and that could cause all kinds of issues in your relationship with this family. I would say "thanks, but no thanks."
    GrnTea likes this.
  9. 0
    yes, def a problem you dont want to walk into.
  10. 0
    I don't see it as either. Ask your employer to get their view...but maybe mom just wants someone to talk to and doesn't know how to talk? I for one know that when I am upset/hurting I prefer to write instead of talk, so maybe that's how she is? Gets her feelings out to you so that it's easier for her to express frustration/anger/resentment with regard to her child's issues and "fate" instead of flat out telling you and risking it coming out wrong.
  11. 4
    Reading ok if you really want to. I prefer to leave my patients at work and leave my time for ME.
    Don't post comments. That can only lead to problems.
    Elladora, wsuRN09, itsnowornever, and 1 other like this.


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