R.N.s report private information to abusive family members - pg.2 | allnurses

R.N.s report private information to abusive family members - page 2

In a true-to-life case scenario, an abusive relative calls the hospital and asks for information about a helpless patient who they have committed crimes against. Why does every nursing staff not... Read More

  1. Visit  Laurie52 profile page
    1
    Quote from Saiderap
    In a true-to-life case scenario, an abusive relative calls the hospital and asks for information about a helpless patient who they have committed crimes against. Why does every nursing staff not have any plan to avoid this?
    If a patient has been the victim of a felony and it was an immediate relative who committed crimes against them then why should nurses ever by permitted by law to share private information with them? I am a witness to them doing this.
    Sharing private information with relatives who are physically and mentally abusive should never have been legally permitted even prior to H.I.P.A.A. or at any time in history and yet some nurses only care about what is legal for them.

    If a patient is in a hospital and they do not want their relative who abuses them to know they are even in there and this relative is also known to gossip with every neighbor in town, the staff can still share their private information, "because they are an immediate relative."

    I would assume that H.I.P.A.A. might have helped to change some of this but it should never have been legal.
    "Is there any family member you do not want us to share information with?" Why hasn't every single nurse been required to find out about this from their patients?
    I work in a trauma ICU. Many of our patients are unresponsive when admitted. I cannot ask the patient "Is there any family member you do not want us to share information with?" So what would you like me to do when the spouse or parents call, having just been informed by the police that their loved one has been in a horrible MVC? Would you seriously expect me to tell them that I can neither confirm or deny that their loved one is in the ICU?
    Meriwhen likes this.
  2. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    0
    Quote from Laurie52
    I work in a trauma ICU. Many of our patients are unresponsive when admitted. I cannot ask the patient "Is there any family member you do not want us to share information with?" So what would you like me to do when the spouse or parents call, having just been informed by the police that their loved one has been in a horrible MVC? Would you seriously expect me to tell them that I can neither confirm or deny that their loved one is in the ICU?
    You must have a policy regarding this, however, no, I would not want to be the one to share or not to share any information.
  3. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    2
    Quote from jadelpn
    You must have a policy regarding this, however, no, I would not want to be the one to share or not to share any information.
    It's state laws that determine this and describe how a decision maker is determined; usually it's parent of a minor, followed by legal POA, followed by spouse, etc.

    We're not only legally allowed to provide this person with info, we're legally required to provide this person with information.
    NRSKarenRN and Sun0408 like this.
  4. Visit  morte profile page
    1
    but over the 'phone, how do you know? and what proof do you require in person? Just because a person says they are spouse/parent, doesn't make it so.
    Quote from MunoRN
    It's state laws that determine this and describe how a decision maker is determined; usually it's parent of a minor, followed by legal POA, followed by spouse, etc.

    We're not only legally allowed to provide this person with info, we're legally required to provide this person with information.
    Armygirl7 likes this.
  5. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    1
    There are key words such as "reasonable effort" and "emergency notifications", "concerted effort"...in the effort to notify next of kin. If the cases of abuse if it is clear we do not release information to the abuser.....regardless of their relation. Period. We didn't release that information to protect the patient before or after HIPAA.

    Facilities have very specific policies about these processes to protect the patient and the staff. Areas most affected are the emergency departments and critical care areas.

    While I am sure this occurs on occasion by accident or carelessness...it is NOT the norm.
    Sun0408 likes this.
  6. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    0
    Quote from MunoRN
    It's state laws that determine this and describe how a decision maker is determined; usually it's parent of a minor, followed by legal POA, followed by spouse, etc.

    We're not only legally allowed to provide this person with info, we're legally required to provide this person with information.
    And I do not disagree, however, anyone could be on the phone.
  7. Visit  Glycerine82 profile page
    1
    Yea, we don't give out any information with out the patients privacy code which can only be obtained from the patient
    Sun0408 likes this.
  8. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    0
    Quote from jadelpn
    And I do not disagree, however, anyone could be on the phone.
    Anyone could be on the phone, which is why basic steps are taken to ensure we're talking to the right person, but without delaying care.

    I suppose we could confirm identity only by DNA testing for medical decision making purposes, although by that point the only decisions they might be making is which Funeral home to use.
  9. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    0
    Quote from MunoRN
    Anyone could be on the phone, which is why basic steps are taken to ensure we're talking to the right person, but without delaying care.

    I suppose we could confirm identity only by DNA testing for medical decision making purposes, although by that point the only decisions they might be making is which Funeral home to use.
    And we can agree to disagree....with difficult family dynamics often prevelent, the house supervisor, the charge nurse....someone who is higher on the food chain than I can give whatever information they would like to. Otherwise, I follow the policy of the hospital. Cause when the sister's common law husband's third cousin once removed is making a scene and threatening lawsuits, claiming to be the HCP cause she dropped dinner off to the patient every holiday I am about all set......
  10. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    0
    Quote from jadelpn
    And we can agree to disagree....with difficult family dynamics often prevelent, the house supervisor, the charge nurse....someone who is higher on the food chain than I can give whatever information they would like to. Otherwise, I follow the policy of the hospital. Cause when the sister's common law husband's third cousin once removed is making a scene and threatening lawsuits, claiming to be the HCP cause she dropped dinner off to the patient every holiday I am about all set......
    That's the policy everywhere. If a NOK is available in the case of patient unable to express their own wishes, then the NOK becomes the decision maker. It's not only appropriate for Nurses and other staff to share this information with the NOK, ensuring they are fully aware of all the information needed to play that role is a requirement of every Nursing BON in every state. Essentially, information sharing with the NOK must follow the same requirements that you would for the patient, would you refuse divulge information about the patient to the patient?

    There are of course exceptions to this. Staff need to make a good faith effort to ensure that the NOK/POA is fulfilling their role as patient advocate. I had a patient once who when we asked the POA (his wife) what should be done in a particular situation, her response was "let the bastard die", she lost her POA privileges. But absent that, we, including the patient's Nurse, are required to keep the NOK/POA informed of everything relevant to decision making.
  11. Visit  Saiderap profile page
    0
    Quote from jadelpn
    When one is speaking of committing felonies, and threats to patient's welfare, then you need to get other disciplines involved. Including law enforcement if appropriate. Anyone who is truly a threat to a patient's welfare, they have no business being in the room with the patient to root and snoop.

    Accusing someone of these crimes is serious business. So be sure that you have assessed, concluded, followed policy, and have your charge or even manager well apprised. The MD well apprised. Just be sure that ALL of your "T's" are crossed, and your "I's" dotted, to protect you as well as the patient.
    When I mentioned people who root around in someone's room, I was not referring to the patient's room in the facility but to their own homes.


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