How has HIPPA affected your job?

  1. With the official enactment of HIPPA regualtions, how has this affected your work in telephone triage, physician referral, & nurse advice?

    It's been interesting, to say the least, to make the adjustment here. When we return calls to those who left a voice mail message, we can't give out any info other than, "this is jane doe returning a call to john doe. please call me at 555.5555"

    Such fun. :stone

    So, how are you all dealing with it?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Beth'69
    I work in a Doctor's office. EVERYONE in the office is acting like it is the end of the world......I think some of it is a pain in the Glute....but I also beleive that we just have to 're-train' ourselves to do things the new way. After a while it will be habit. I feel a lot of HIPPA is things we should have been doing from the start.
  4. by   Going80INA55
    We do the same as you when it comes to leaving a message on someones machine.

    I find it gets sticky when someone other than the person you are trying to reach answers the phone. So when I call for the husband and the wife answers I cant tell her anything except for who I am. Anything more, with out verbal permission to discuss health issues with her I would be a violation of HIPPA.
  5. by   kids
    I started my job after the regs went into effect and have never worked triage/advice before so it really isn't having much of an effect on me, I don't know any other way. Also, because I work Peds we don't seem to be as limited as I am hearing from others.

    Parents are commenting on how nice & personal the service is now that they don't sign in on a sheet and have a seat...our reception (3 people) check them in as they come to the counter.
  6. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by Going80INA55
    We do the same as you when it comes to leaving a message on someones machine.

    I find it gets sticky when someone other than the person you are trying to reach answers the phone. So when I call for the husband and the wife answers I cant tell her anything except for who I am. Anything more, with out verbal permission to discuss health issues with her I would be a violation of HIPPA.
    Ditto that! And when a caller leaves a message on our voice mail without anything other than their name & number & then when I call, I get their answering machine & can only leave MY name & number...sticky & frustrating! Talk about telephone tag!
  7. by   renerian
    Royal pain in the arse..........

    renerian
  8. by   Audreyfay
    I think it is a lot of common sense. A lot of people are just freaking out. But, as far as I'm concerned, we've always done things that way, but the patient never knew we did.
  9. by   eltrip
    We have too. Our latest software update came with a screen where we could provide our patients with a privacy statement. It's taking a bit of getting used to seeing. Now, if one gets composed & entered, THAT will be interesting.
  10. by   Cowboy Fan
    I do not mind leaving the generic answering machine message. It's the husband answering the phone who thinks I am a telemarketer wanting to speak with his wife. I can't give too much information and he acts like she is going to buy a thousand dollars worth of jewelry from me. She is the stupid one, and he is the smart one protecting her from me....drives me nuts.
  11. by   tntrn
    On our locked mother/baby unit, we screen visitors using a camera system. If they can't give us first AND last name of the mom, they are not to be admitted. This causes some grief, you know, the people who swear Susie is my best friend, but I don't know her last name. Or those who are only familiar with the dad, don't know mom's first OR last name and of course the last name is not the same.

    On the phone, it's about the same as before: I've never given out progress information to anybody over the phone, but now even if I know who they are talking about, I can't tell the caller if they are even there. Some people get pretty PO'd over that; I do add the privacy law prohibits giving that information and some understand that and some don't.

    Hubby and I have signed information giving the OK for our docs/insurance company/etc. to give information to both us regarding either of us.
  12. by   Havin' A Party!
    Originally posted by Beth'69
    I I feel a lot of HIPPA is things we should have been doing from the start.
    Agree.
  13. by   Amethyst Veralyn
    I have just recently been told that if I work one on one
    with a patient in a facility that I can not pull the signal cord
    for help unless it is a medical emergency.

    I was told this is about hippa regulations.
    This does not make sense to me.

    The staff members at the facility have to abide by the same laws I do.

    My patient is
    THEIRS just like they are mine
    and there are times when I pull the cord to get help
    because there is a safety issue at hand and this protects me and the patient from an emergency.

    I also pull the cord right away if I think something that is going on
    might be interpreted as abuse or neglect.
    This way I have witnesses
    who all have to abide by the hippa laws and this protects me and the patient.

    I was told that I have to call up my supervisor at the office
    rather than pull the cord and this seems like a backwards and
    hard way of doing things and it could actually create an emergency
    in some cases where you need immediate help before something bad happens.

    Can someone help me understand this more?
  14. by   Ruthiegal
    It hasn't changed things too much except for outbound calls. We have a protocol now to follow to make sure we are speaking to the correct person (identity verification), such as asking for demographics, birth date, etc. When leaving a message we can say who we are and the company we are calling from, like always even before Hipaa we never leave any private health information or the name of the program we are calling from such as the stop smoking program, disease management program etc.

    It's just a matter of courtesy either way.

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