I am a young nurse that has only been practicing for 1 1/2 years. I love my job as a nurse, and I just got my dream job at a hospital I have always wanted to work at. I have been there for 4 months and I was called into HR for a meeting. They asked me why my name was on patients computer charts that I did not take care of. They informed me that was a HIPAA violation. I was completely devastated as I thought HIPAA violations were more like wrongly giving information out, obtaining info to use against someone, or copying information and taking it with you. Those kind of things were what I thought of when I thought of HIPAA. I didn't look at charts to find someone I knew or anything like that. I am a night nurse and I would just browse during downtime. I couldn't tell anyone the first thing about what was going on with any of the patients. I was just ignorant and didn't realize that I was violating something. They are talking about termination. What can I do to learn from this? To save my name? To save my license? What happens after termination, if that's what they decide.
Thanks for your time,
Desperately needing guidance,
I'm currently in nursing school... we were taught about the minimum necessary information rule. You only need to know the minimum information about the pt to provide care, but you weren't technically taking care of those pts, so technically you should not have been "browsing" their charts. To me, that's no different then going in the lunch room and talking about said pts.
Please view: the hhs.gov website. Also, we were taught there are fines and possible imprisonment involved. Don't get too worked up until you know for sure what the outcome is going to be.
Last edit by tdmaher on Sep 22, '11
: Reason: add more info.