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Documented note for a coworker RN

Nurses   (1,755 Views | 19 Replies)
by FloatDaddy FloatDaddy (New) New

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In our very small unit, we work as a team generally. My coworker clocked out after a change of shift admission and did not write an admission note. I wrote a very brief one based on my knowledge of the patient from team discussion. 

I am now being accused of falsifying documentation by my DON, and am meeting with HR and union rep in 5 days.

Please help if you have any thoughts!

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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Do not go to that meeting without a lawyer.What you are accused of is a felony. Notify your malpractice carrier as well.  Were you present in the patient's room that day?

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Rose_Queen has 15 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

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It would be one thing if the coworker called in and dictated a note that you entered with “Per phone call from...” (still a little sketchy) vs you simply entering a note based off of what you heard in team report. Agree with above- bring someone with you who will be in your corner. 

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14 Followers; 4,218 Posts; 32,797 Profile Views

What is this about? Is it because you didn't personally gather assessment information prior to making a note? Or because your DON thinks that an admission summary can only be made by the person on duty when the patient rolled in?

I don't understand. This sounds like trouble-making.

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Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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If you documented findings without assessing the patient, I'm sorry to say, you are most likely in trouble.

Not sure how you can present this otherwise.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

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Depending on the circumstances I would definitely contact an attorney. Was the "brief" note simply saying pt arrived and you charted what you actually knew to be true, or did you chart a full assessment. If you charted here say and didn't document "per (other RN)" you may have a problem.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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3 hours ago, JKL33 said:

What is this about? Is it because you didn't personally gather assessment information prior to making a note? Or because your DON thinks that an admission summary can only be made by the person on duty when the patient rolled in?

I don't understand. This sounds like trouble-making.

The OP did not admit or access the patient, did not establish relationship, was not included into treatment team,  but still wrote "very short" admission note from the info that was overheard from a team huddle or something like it.

It is classic false documentation case and, yes, however stupid it sounds, it is, at least on the paper, a felony and reportable occurence, plus HIPAA violation. I cannot imagine what in the Universe might prompt the OP to do that except of that blindly task-oriented attitude of "iamjustdoingmyjobasanurse". 

Sorry, the OP needs a lawyer and likely more than one if he or she would like to continue holding nursing license (or any other professional license, for that matter)  in any shape, color or quality. 

Frankly, this (appropriately moderated) topic should be in the list "mandatory reading for all nursing and pre-nursing students: things which must not be done, ever"

Edited by KatieMI

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I guess I assumed the OP took over patient care and there were still a couple of items to wrap up from the admission (such as this summary, whatever that consists of). Maybe that's not the case. But if it is, well, patient care is often handed off with admissions partially or mostly (but not entirely) completed. If it is an on-coming nurse involved with the patient then IMO which of the two nurses writes a summary about the fact that the patient has arrived and been admitted for the care and tx of xyz seems pretty much irrelevant.

I'm pretty particular and aware of issues surrounding stuff like this usually, but I just don't see the big deal here unless the OP was a random staff who happened to notice that this most crucial task (🙄) of writing an admission summary was not done and so wrote some things down even though otherwise uninvolved. If the OP was just completely uninvolved then I agree with the other comments = not good.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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7 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I guess I assumed the OP took over patient care and there were still a couple of items to wrap up from the admission (such as this summary, whatever that consists of). Maybe that's not the case. But if it is, well, patient care is often handed off with admissions partially or mostly (but not entirely) completed. If it is an on-coming nurse involved with the patient then IMO which of the two nurses writes a summary about the fact that the patient has arrived and been admitted for the care and tx of xyz seems pretty much irrelevant.

I'm pretty particular and aware of issues surrounding stuff like this usually, but I just don't see the big deal here unless the OP was a random staff who happened to notice that this most crucial task (🙄) of writing an admission summary was not done and so wrote some things down even though otherwise uninvolved. If the OP was just completely uninvolved then I agree with the other comments = not good.

To make a big deal or not out of it  is totally up to OP's administration, unfortunately. 

We can love or hate it but accepting patient without that "taking assignment" click for 30 min while another nurse takes a break and perusing the chart at that time is, by the letter, a fact of accessing patient's info without establishing relationship and therefore  can be seen as HIPAA violation. Usually nobody cares much about it, although at some time some facilities  choose their next internal battle to target "potential HIPAA violators". But there are repeated stories about some celebrity admitted in a hospital and some people nicking into his chart and being fired and reported  for that, even if they had kind of reasonable explanation of why they did it. 

We may never know exact details of what really happened but what is clear enough is that the OP has got very deep in  hot water. 

 

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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32 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I guess I assumed the OP took over patient care and there were still a couple of items to wrap up from the admission (such as this summary, whatever that consists of). Maybe that's not the case. 

I'm basing it off of OP's statement "My coworker clocked out after a change of shift admission and did not write an admission note. I wrote a very brief one based on my knowledge of the patient from team discussion. " That does not sound like she took over patient care at all. I agree with you though, if she did take over patient care then that is a completely different story.

Edited by JadedCPN

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Was the brief note accurate and factual? 

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14 Followers; 4,218 Posts; 32,797 Profile Views

3 minutes ago, JadedCPN said:

"My coworker clocked out after a change of shift admission and did not write an admission note. I wrote a very brief one based on my knowledge of the patient from team discussion.

I read that and it seemed ambiguous (as in:  I got report. While reviewing the documentation I noticed the summary hadn't been done and I did it based on the info I got in report without further evaluating the patient). I figured that reviewing the documentation was how the OP realized the summary hadn't been done in the first place. But maybe the fact that the summary wasn't done was passed on in report. Who knows.

Maybe my mind automatically went that way because I can't imagine caring about what documentation a peer did or didn't do if I'm not involved at all with the patient.

Sorry for the tangent. Carry on! 🙂

 

 

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