Hipaa violation or not? Phone number error...
- 0Dec 11, '12 by hunagirlHi,
I hope someone can give me some help on this. I am a patient that just was seen at a ob-gyn and was advised to do a D& C at the local hospital. I agreed and signed the paper so they could schedule it. I told every person in the office including the MD that my home number was not to be contacted regarding this and to use my cell phone ONLY. It was a private matter and I did not want my family getting phone calls about any of this matter. They marked down the cell phone number and crossed out my home number on several of their records. They do have EMR and the system had my home number in their from the primary care records.
The very next day, the hospital called and my husband answered the phone. The nurse did not give him any information but the fact is that the hospital called and said it was very important that I call back so he was on alert! I was asleep and did not know until hours later. I then received a call from the same hospital nurse on my cell phone stating that the office had just now advised her to only use my cell phone. I have not called or discussed this yet with the office as I am furious. I cancelled the surgery and I will get my care elsewhere.
Does anyone know if I can do anything regarding this situation? My reasons for not telling my family are just that, my reasons. I feel that the staff was careless and now I have to deal with the fallout and explain why the hospital is calling me. Please help!
- 4,185 Visits
- 2Dec 11, '12 by CrunchRNI totally understand.
However, I think since no personal info was revealed there is no violation.
When multiple parties are involved in something like this the room for error is huge unfortunately.
I do not know that you can realistically expect a better outcome elsewhere. Phone #'s are in so many places and often there is nowhere to record certain particular privacy instructions like that.
- 0Dec 11, '12 by Glycerine82It's not hipaa violation unless personal information was shared. I understand its frustrating but even healthcare personnel are human and make human mistakes. They didn't tell him anything and you can tell him whatever you like. Abnormal pap, yeast infection whatever you want. I'm curious why you would provide your home number if you didn't want them to contact you there? Forgive me I this reason was already stated. I would let it go, and to answer your question no there isn't anything you can do other than switch facilities.
"No day but today"
- 1Dec 11, '12 by JZ_RNIf you didn't want your home number called you should not have listed it at all. They revealed no personal information so they did not violate your privacy. You don't have to tell your family anything, the hospital didn't. We're not here to give legal advice.
- 0Dec 12, '12 by Ntheboat2I agree with the above. It's unfortunate, but not a violation. They could have just as easily sent a letter in the mail. Even though it would be addressed to you, it could put your husband on "high alert."
I don't see why it's a hard issue to solve. You could say what the above poster suggested or just say it was a mix up and they didn't mean to call you? What did you have in mind by wanting to know if there's anything you can do? Anything like what?
- 0Dec 12, '12 by psu_213No violation.
"High alert" does not mean anything. Calling someones home/cell number and then leaving a vague message (example "call us back at your earliest convince") is standard procedure for doctors offices. If your husband feels the need to be on "high alert" from a message like this, that is his problem, not the hospital's.
- 0Dec 12, '12 by SleeepyRNI truly do feel for you on this situation. However, I dont feel the staff was careless. The system was flawed, not the staff. If Im the staff member calling, I look up the number in the computer and call it. How does that make me the employee, careless. I can concede carelessness if there were a way they could have changed it in the computer, which may be possible, but thats on the people who took your request to begin with, not on the nurse who actually called. I hope you weren't angry specifically at her as I see it as she did nothing wrong. Again, I do truly feel for you. My privacy rights have been taken away from me a few times at my gynecologist's office. I only stay because the gynecologist is a very long time family friend. One example is when my mom went in to the gynecologists office for her own appointment, and they told her I, an adult, not a dependent, had a balance. My mom offered to pay for it so they told her how much it was. It was pretty expensive, indicating it was not for a regular check up. Like you said, my reasons for not wanting my mom to know of this are mine.