Anyone else think HIPAA rules are getting out of hand?


My manager told me yesterday that I can't write the resident's last name on our bowel care sheet. For privacy I have to write a room number. Really? The clipboard we keep behind the nurses station where no one can see it needs HIPAA protection? If people are getting behind the desk and going through our stuff, don't we have bigger problems??

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Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,437 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

Interesting. Our preop area has two large bulletin boards listing patients' last names and preop room number. Apparently this was investigated before initiated and found to be okay as long as we don't list first and last names.


3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

I have been wanting to vent about HIPAA.

Having stupid run-ins over the phone when we, a free standing surgical center, request patient information from another hospital!!! I know HIPAA allows this but still we can and do get the run around from medical records or other departments which can be annoying to dangerous in urgent situations.

In 2004 I was in the NICU, visiting my grandson. Grandson was, is, fine just a precaution after a stressful delivery.

Purely out of ???? my nervousness ???? just not being sure at that time how we would be, etc. I asked his nurse what antibiotics he was on. She said because of HIPAA she couldn't tell me I would have to ask his mother!!!!!!


98 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

Fact is, none of these people has ever seen the HIPAA law. Why? Because it can' be bought anywhere nor is it online in its entirety. Since 1996, it has undergone at least 6 restores and is probably by now the size of an encyclopedia. People are making things up as they go along. People assume their employers know but in truth they don't either. I am going thru a HIPAA battle now re My dying husband's med records, and yes I have signed releases up the ying yang. By the way, there is no signed release for verbal info only written but the law states they are the same. At this point I am preparing to file a Civil Rights HIPAA complaint against 2 institutions for refusing to release records. Cigna was just fined 4.3 million for refusing/not complying with patient record release requests.


2 Posts

What has frustrated me the most is working in LTC, sending a patient to the hospital from our facility and then not being able to get any information about their condition, even though we are the facility they are going to be sent back to. How ridiculous!! We have to call the patient's family to get an update. Does this make sense??

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care, pulmonary nursing. Has 12 years experience.

What Tankweti said. People just make crap up as they go along. And it usually is, a big steamy pile of it.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

My favorite was sitting in my grandmother's room and the nurse came in to admin medications and not only wouldn't tell my grandmother what she was getting because I was in the room (because only my mom & her sister were on the chart as HIPAA contacts) but also put tape over the drug name on the IV label so I couldn't see what drug it was...the fact that I didn't particularly care to look was not an issue....besides her MDs would tell me anything my grandmother, aunt and mother (with permission of course) wanted me to re-explain to them so it was a non-issue. They could only put 2 names on the HIPAA form as that was all the system would accept in the EMR.

. My grandmother was a bit loopy due to low oxygen but managed to drop her pulse ox further and lose more of her voice by giving the nurse a piece of her mind for keeping everything so clandestinely secret.LOL. She told them where they could put their secret tape!


33 Posts

I have been wanting to vent about HIPAA.

In 2004 I was in the NICU, visiting my grandson. Grandson was, is, fine just a precaution after a stressful delivery.

Purely out of ???? my nervousness ???? just not being sure at that time how we would be, etc. I asked his nurse what antibiotics he was on. She said because of HIPAA she couldn't tell me I would have to ask his mother!!!!!!

I don't know, I would not be happy if my children's medical information, including medications, was shared with family members, including grandparents, without my specific permission. You never know the family dynamic.


3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

Yikes!!!! Sorry I don't have a very good imagination. I can understand not wanting family to know someone is in the hospital, I can understand not wanting, allowing, family to visit or see a newborn.

However we of course had to pass through a security guard and check points just to inter the maternal infant unit. How could we have make it pass all these check points and gotten to be able to actually stand at the newborns bedside without a lot of permission already being given. We would not have gotten that far if the mother hadn't allowed it.

So suddenly, somehow, my knowing EVERYTHING else about my grandchild, everything about the delivery, seeing what O2 and IV he was on.......but somehow knowing what antibiotic he is on would........well I can't imagine what? Sorry as I said I don't have a good imaginationl

allnurses Guide

NurseCard, ADN

2 Articles; 2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

You know, I do understand the reasoning behind HIPAA, but some people really do get overly bent out of shape for nothing...

Once upon a time when I worked at the local hospital, I was written up for violating HIPAA... because I got on the hospital PA system and asked someone, a patient, to dial 7840, my extension. That's IT, that's all I said. I gave away NO information about this person by doing this. The only reason I needed him to do this was because I had a question that I needed to ask him before I left the building.

The write up ended up in the garbage; the hospital's chief HIPAA officer determined that I had done absolutely nothing wrong.


266 Posts

My daughter was in the hospital a few years ago, and they told me that I would not be able to get the results of her stool culture unless I went through the proper channels that included a trip to the medical records office, and a whopping 2 week delay in getting that information to really?? She is an infant and I am the mother!! I think that was a little much if you ask me, shouldnt I, as the mother and primary care in the loop? I get that the doctor is technically the only one who can give me information related to diagnosis, but you better believe if you are planning to treat my child, you will be telling me what for. If you were wondering, she had a diaper full of bloody diarrhea, and they were ruling out ecoli (which was negative) since an ugly strain was going around at the time. She just had a case of c-diff from some other antibiotics she was on previously. But least tell me the test was negative so that I dont think my child is going to croak from a deadly bacteria.


424 Posts

Specializes in Addictions, Acute Psychiatry. Has 27 years experience.

HIPAA does not apply when facilities are collaborating or coordinating the care of a patient (this is why a physician's office, at least they do around here, call a few local pharmacies to see a medication history before prescribing anything). I don't agree with that practice bit it's legal they say.