Looking at a chart of a previously cared for patient, HIPAA violation?

  1. Does anyone know the penalty for violating HIPAA by accessing a patients chart that you previously took care of? Like taking care of a patient the night before and coming back to see they were transferred to the ICU right after your shift? Just to make sure you didn't do anything wrong and checking on them? Please and thank you!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   StaceyTr88
    Could someone comment please??
  4. by   MEINstudent
    Its a HIPAA violation that is fireable. Once you are done taking care of a patient, your right to access the chart ends. If you haven't been caught, don't tell anyone and don't do it again.
  5. by   MunoRN
    It's not actually a HIPAA violation so long as you are looking for the purpose of evaluating your care. Differentiating between evaluating the care you provided vs simple curiosity is the responsibility of the facility, and this can involve some work on the part of the facility that they may just want to avoid all together so they prohibit any sort of evaluation of care because it simplifies their job of proving compliance.
  6. by   JKL33
    Precisely. ^

    I almost wrote something similar a little bit ago but it wasn't as gracious.

    Long story short, for the OP: It's going to be whatever your particular facility wants to make of it.
  7. by   FolksBtrippin
    You should not do it without a reason. Some reasons I have seen include: accessing the face sheet for contact info because the patient's own meds were left in the pyxis after discharge, accessing discharge date because a patient was requesting a script refill and policy states that this could be done for 30 days after discharge.

    I don't know about doing it to check on yourself or your charting. I think you should ask your manager if that is acceptable or not.

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