Sharing patient information that they ask you to. :)

  1. 0
    I am a pediatric nurse and have the privilege to care for so many outstanding young men and women every day. I love my teenagers! We have some kiddos that due to their illness stay with us for weeks and even months at a time. Of course you can imagine that these kids are special to the staff.

    My question is this.... I take care of one young patient who is actively fundraising to support research for his disease. His enthusiasm is inspiring! He has given out the link to his fundraising site online to the hospital staff (all of us, doctors and nurses and child life, Xray, and dietary... you get the point... LOL) and has asked us all to share it with our friends and family to help in his fundraising efforts.

    So my question is this:

    Is sharing the website link with others a HIPAA violation?

    He is a minor, and the link directly speaks of his disease (duh, it's a fundraising site! lol) By sharing it, it will be obvious that he is one of my patients. It also contains his first and last name, etc.

    It's a slippery slope for me! I would love to help him but I'm stuck on this.

    Advice?
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I would err on the side of caution since he's a minor. Can you ask his parent(s)/guardian(s) if its ok for you to do so? Even with their permission verbally I would probably want something in writing that says they are allowing this. But that's just me and my paranoia
    poppycat likes this.
  4. 0
    His guardian is pretty much unavailable to staff.
  5. 0
    I like to say no, but it's better to be safe. Then again If he is 16 or older, he can make his own medical choices. Can you ask a manager?
    Quote from ~PedsRN~
    His guardian is pretty much unavailable to staff.
    that's sad
  6. 1
    Not over 16 yet.
    I can definitely ask my manager about it.

    I really don't think I'm comfortable with sharing it, even though I wish I could. I will continue doing what I am doing, which is doing my own fundraising for the same cause.
    poppycat likes this.
  7. 0
    I'm with those who would err on the side of caution. Him being a minor complicates things, and without parental consent I would be really reluctant. There are ways he can publicize his cause on his own, like Facebook or MySpace.
  8. 0
    The main thing to remember is that in most instance where Nurses get in trouble, it's not due to a HIPAA violation so much as an institutional privacy policy, which are usually much more rigid. Even if you followed HIPAA guidelines for a release of info, hospitals/facilities will still fire you for something that can just be perceived as slightly questionable, so no, I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.


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