My better judgment tells me this isn't okay...

  1. But I still want to check!

    I work in a hospital. I am not a nurse, but have patient contact. Recently I worked with a patient that is very sick. Patient is lonely and has been with us for a lengthy stay, with no visitors that I am aware.
    My question is this: Would it be a HIPAA violation to send this pt. flowers?
    It seems silly..but I think feeling like somebody is thinking of them would boost their spirit tremendously.

    Thank you for reading and for any insight!
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    About Liberty26

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   jadelpn
    Most facilities it is not ok. However, if you cut some nice flowers from your garden and brought them in to brighten the patient's room, then that is different. It all has to do with the sending of gifts to patients by healthcare workers. But if you are sharing something that you bring in (like flowers from your garden) then I would double check, but I think that is ok as it is not buying the patient something....
  4. by   Liberty26
    I didn't even consider that! That's a nice idea, I'll check into it. Thanks for your help
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    nothing whatsoever to do with hipaa. check to see if your facility has any rules about gifts for patients. i should think that home-cut flowers would be lovely. check for allergies in the roommates, though.
  6. by   Double-Helix
    The only possible issue I can think of is if you had the flowers delivered and gave the name of the patient to the florist. In that case, you would be giving out PHI.

    However, if you brought the flowers in yourself or had them delivered to floor with instructions to give them to the patient in Room 1, there would be no sharing of health information, so no HIPAA violation.

    If you're concerned about boundaries, consider sending the flowers anonymously.

    Also, be sure to check the policies on the floor. Many floors do not allow fresh flowers in the patient rooms, especially if the patient is immunocompromised.