I work with a very young LPN who is the resident "know it all". I'm not bashing LPN's...just clarifying her job title.
I work in various departments in women's and children's. We had a baby that was born about two weeks ago to a mother with an active herpes infection. Our hospital, like many, has a process to designate another person to receive information on the patient.
Shortly after birth, the baby became symptomatic. An LP was ordered along with blood cultures, etc.
The baby's grandfather, who the baby's mother designated to receive information on the baby, was told the infant was going to have lumbar puncture when he arrived to visit the baby. The LPN that was taking care of the infant told the grandfather that it was because the mother had an active herpes infection when the baby was born, so we were testing the baby to see if it had a systemic herpes infection.
Needless to say, the mother's father had no idea his daughter had an active herpes infection.
I told the LPN that she committed a HIPAA violation by disclosing the mother's medical history. The LPN felt that because it was the reason for the procedure, it was not a HIPAA violation. I told the LPN that she could have said, "The infant is having an LP to check for viral infections among other tests." If her Dad pressed further, we could have said, "We cannot disclose more information without violating the mother's privacy." The LPN felt strongly enough overlapping existed to allow the disclosure and she kept saying, "But the mother signed the form?" I said, "it was for the BABY, not for HER".
Well, turns out the infant had a positive blood culture and was negative for herpes.
Who was right?