*No Facebook please*
Yesterday I had a little...tiff...with my principal. Here's the deal: SORRY SO LONG, GUYS.
The phone in my office and the phone for the after-school program are apparently on the same line. Meaning a few things: 1.) When I call a parent a different number than the schools
shows up. 2.)If the parent calls that
number back, they don't get my office, they get either the AP's office or the after school care line. Never me. And most importantly 3.) At times when I pick up my phone I hear the after school program people's phone conversations with other people. I assume they can do the same at times with me.
So yesterday they were talking about some of the other phone lines being fixed over Spring Break. I asked if the issue with my phone and hearing others conversations had been fixed and I am told "No, I'm not paying for an extra line."
Okay...but my concern is that if I am on the phone and they pick up, they can hear my conversation about a student, thus violating HIPAA. The secretary pipes up and says "Well, after 1:30 (what time the ASP person comes in) you just won't be able to use your phone and it will be her turn." Okay, so all the injuries and illness I have after 1:30 I can send to you to call home, right?
Principal then says, "Well, she is bound by the same HIPAA laws as you, so even if she does overhear something, she knows not to tell. So it is not an issue." I was literally speechless so just said "All right then." And went to my office.
Here is my issue. First I don't think the program director is bound by HIPAA, FERPA maybe, but no HIPAA (guys, let me know if I am wrong!), as she is not a certified employee. Also, for example, say I am working at the hospital and a tech and I are in the cafeteria discussing our patient and another nurse from another unit overhears our conversation about the patient, who just so happens to be her sister's friend, regardless that she is a nurse and bound by HIPAA, it has still been violated.
I am just frustrated and confused. I trust the program director and I am sure that if she picked up the phone and I was on it she would hang up (like I do when I hear her convos) but what if I was talking about her neighbors kiddo, and she then goes and tells her other neighbor...UGH. Am I making too much out of this???