My HIPAA mistake. - page 3

by somenurse | 9,182 Views | 38 Comments

I have done a HIPAA violation, and looking back on it, i can't believe i did this. As an older nurse, it has not been the easiest of things for me to reform my previously sloppy (by today's standards) ways of patient protection.... Read More


  1. 1
    How about having T write up that he asked you to have your husband call him about the surgery and take the letter with a letter from you to your facility HR dept requesting the HIPPA complaint be removed from your file.
    somenurse likes this.
  2. 2
    This is such gray area, that I would have kicked, bucked, and screamed for your defense; Yes, even if I didn't "like" you! This is repugnant, and wasn't meant to cover crap like this, and I just wish someone would have been there who protects and advocates for their nurses as well as their patients, investigated your "intention," and done NO HARM- in fact you were being a nurse planning on someone to check on him.

    This really bites, and you didn't deserve a right up. I would go as far to rehash it myself. If this many nurses feel this way, something is wrong! I would have pulled you to the side, in a non-condescending manner, and reminded you that hipaa nazis might hear you and report you to the privacy Gestapo! So so so sorry you are dealing with this. Surely someone in your facility in power has just a grain of common sense?
    somenurse and psu_213 like this.
  3. 1
    From where I see it, this is not a violation. I woudl high tail it to HR and explain the situation. If this truely will stay in your file forever, you want to make sure this is a legit complaint. Don't go along with this until you get the facts. It kind of sounds like they are trying to make a paper trail on you....may want to start looking...
    somenurse likes this.
  4. 2
    I think that's silly. T was already obviously comfortable with your guy knowing he was having the surgery and when. If you want to get technical, I guess it is a violation since you didn't ask T, "can I tell him you're leaving now?", but really...I think that nurse woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It's not like T had kept this all a secret beforehand.
    somenurse and psu_213 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from Ntheboat2
    I'm the same exact way. People either really like me or they REALLY don't!

    My old boss even told me that she went around asking my co-workers what they thought about me. She said, "They either thought you were just wonderful and the best thing since sliced bread....or they really didn't care so much for you." She also told me that a few people said, "I wasn't sure what to think of her at first, but I really like her now."

    I've had friends tell me the same thing. They say I'm "hard to read" whatever that means. I think partly because I have a sarcastic sense of humor which a lot of people don't even get. Another reason is because I'm capable of completely disagreeing with other's opinions on things (like abortion, gay marriage, and other things people get heated about) but still loving them as a person/friend.

    During this past election season, I found out that some people can't do that. I had several people stop interacting with me on facebook or just unfriend me completely just because I had posted a couple of political jokes. That's INSANE!

    oh, i so so understand, i too, can hold a different viewpoint, and still like the person, but, not eveyrone can. I too, have had some ppl dump me on FB for political cartoons, too! Which is fine, but, what i am baffled at, is, they also treated me differently in real life after realizing, i am on different page politically than they are on...evne though we always gotten on fine, no political discussions between us, but, after seeing my FB page,
    they became cool to me. ha. sometimes i wonder if FB really IS good at helping ppl "connect" or not!! ha ha!!

    I always stay out of political or religious discussions at work, i am "unlikable" enough already, ha ha!!
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 2, '12
  6. 0
    Quote from CrunchRN
    What I hate the most is this need by other nurses to turn on their own instead of taking them aside and gently letting them know sl they don't do it in the future. It is one os the things I despise actually.

    yes, i sure do wish she had done that, instead.
    as a HIPAA violation stays on your employee file, forever,
    even if it is disproven/debunked, (mine wasnt', but, some are debunked/found innocent)
    stil
    the original complaint, and the nurse's reply,
    remain in your employee file. (not 100% sure on that, but, pretty sure).
  7. 0
    Quote from Armygirl7
    Thank you for this story and reminder of how hard HIPAA can bite you!

    I work in the ER and I had the grandfather of one of my son's best friends as a patient one night. He knows me, knows my son, knows his grandson is at my house frequently etc. It was soooo weird to go home and NOT say anything to my son! It took a lot of effort! And my son never said anything in the next few months like "Oh Malik told me you were his grandpa's nurse," or something like that so I was glad I never said anything because maybe the kid didn't know his grandpa was in the hospital. But it was definitely unnatural. HIPAA can really catch you unaware.

    I hope this doesn't hinder your career. I agree with other posters - why wouldn't you just take your colleague aside and say something? I am amazed at the "gotcha" attitude of certain nurses.

    yes, i so understood the difficulty you have faced, in staying silent, about the grandfather, i have been in those shoes, too. It is harder than it sounds.

    RE: Why didn't i take colleague aside,
    well, i had no idea she was upset, she said nothing to me, at all. She went and FILLED OUT THE PAPERWORK and when i was summoned to the director's office,
    i spoke with our director about it, not her.


    ONCE THE COMPLAINT IS FORMALLY FILED, my impression is,
    it can't just be shredded up, even IF the nurse was actually innocent. INstead of shredding it up, an innocent nurse just adds HER side of the story.

    I was not innocent, but, even when a nurse IS innocent, my impression is,
    that THAT charge stays in your employee file,
    forever,
    along with your side of the story, too.

    so that each time it is come across, in your employee file,
    the next reader has to slog through it all,
    to decide,
    and RE-decide,
    if that nurse did, or did not,
    commit a HIPAA violation.


    ONCE THAT COMPLAINT IS FILED, my impression is,
    it is now a permanent part of your employee file, forever.
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 2, '12
  8. 0
    Quote from blondy2061h
    Couldn't T just call your manager and tell her that he had previously told your boyfriend about the surgery and asked you to call him and update him?
    THAT would have worked,
    but, i was too slow on my feet, when presented, in the facility director's office,
    with a formally written up HIPAA violation complaint against me.
    If someone had just pulled me aside casually, informally, to talk to me about my error, i might not have been so blown away, and i might have come up with better responses,
    but,
    when faced, in a very formal manner,
    with a very formal HIPAA complaint, all written out already on the proper forms and all,
    i just kinda went into minor level of shock, and did not come up with good responses to exonerate myself. Even 1 small white lie would have saved me,
    IF i had thought up one quickly,
    but, i just admitted it straight up. LATER, oh my, LATER, i thought of 100 better replies than "OH, i'm so sorry!"

    but, at the time, i was kind of frightened, blown away, wasn't quick on my feet. *sigh*.

    Also, i am not sure, but, i think, it may have been obvious, that i was lying, if i tried to plead that "T" had asked me to call my BF to tell him he was going to be home in an hour. I think it was clear, by overhearing "T" and me conversation, that "T" was not expecting any help from my bf that day when he went home.

    I can't recall "T"'s reply now, but, "T" did not expect my BF to go over and check on him, and probably said something to that effect. ("T" did not mind my bf checking on him, but, i think, it would have been clear to a bystander, that my telling my bf that "T" was about to go home, was MY idea, not "T"s idea).
  9. 0
    Quote from blondy2061h
    Couldn't T just call your manager and tell her that he had previously told your boyfriend about the surgery and asked you to call him and update him?

    T offered to do that,
    but, i told him i thought that would make it worse,
    but, you are probably right,
    I should have let T write his note or make his call, cuz T was no less than horrified i got into any trouble over our conversation.
    T wanted very very much, to go to bat for me, to help me get back OUT of trouble again. NOw, i am not sure why i didn't let him do it, not sure. At the time, i thought it'd make things worse,
    cuz,
    i wasn't sure if i'd get into trouble a second time, for even telling T i had got a HIPAA violation over his conversation with me....i didn't know if that would be seen as sharing stuff with patients that they shouldn't have to worry about.


    honestly, i still don't know THAT answer....


    also, at same time,
    i might have been seen as a "liar"
    since it was kinda obvious to any bystander who could hear us two talking,
    that my calling my bf was MY idea, not "T"s idea.....


    but yeah, i did NOT respond well, when presented with formal written up HIPAA complaint. Later, i thought of 100 better responses than "OH, i am so sorry!"



    yeah, LATER i thought of best things to say. but, at the time, i didn't.
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 2, '12
  10. 0
    I KIND OF WISH,
    and slightly wonder,
    what would happen,
    if i had done like criminals do, when charged with a crime,
    just remain silent.


    I wonder, what would my director have thought,
    IF i had replied, something like, "Well, this is very serious charge. I was not expecting this at all, and wish to think about this more before i reply. I would like to go home, gather my thoughts on this very serious charge, and meet with you tomorrow to discuss it further."


    maybe, IF i had delayed my response a bit, to gather my wits about me first,
    maybe my director would have seen THAT as suspicious, the way cops do. who knows?
    anyone know if delaying reply til next day would only have dug me in further into suspicious behavior? or would that delay have been viewed as reasonable reply, who knows...


    if i had done that, (went home to think about it, instead of blurting out apologies while in shock)

    i would have come up with better response, than, "oh, i'm so sorry!"....
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 2, '12 : Reason: cuz i never say anyything 'just right' the first time....


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