about confidentiality

  1. I recently overheard a co-worker discussing with a patient details of another patient's illness and treatment, including his orchiectomy and that he had banked sperm before the surgery. It seemed that her purpose in telling all this to another patient was that the young man is "now doing well and so will you" sort of thing. She referred to the man by name. Although the patient with whom she was conversing did not know the other patient, there were quite a few other people around, and who knows whether any of their paths will cross. I was uncomfortable even hearing it, but was not in a position right then to interrupt and tactfully change the subject. I also do not believe that this woman would be receptive to a private reminder (from me, anyway) about patient confidentiality. The young man is 26 years old, but he is my co-worker's son, and she apparently was unaware that she could be violating confidentiality with her conversation. What do you think of this?
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    About jemb

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 1,233; Likes: 8
    RN, outpt onc/hem unit


  3. by   tattooednursie
    I think explaining the procedures that you did with another patient would be just fine, but naming him by name and all that private infromation is breeching confidentiality. That is wrong! That is breaking a federal law.
  4. by   sanakruz
    Very bad practice. Mandy is correct.She could potentially be fired for this and disciplined by the board. HIPPA is coming you know...
  5. by   RNforLongTime
    So, she was telling another pt about her son? Either way, it's a breach of confidentiality. Yes, HIPPA is coming and SOON!
  6. by   OzNurse69
    Playing devil's advocate here, but just a question.....did she have her son's permission to tell the patient his details? If so, then it's allright, isn't it? But unless she did, then she was absolutely breaking the law, not to mention the ethics of the situation.
  7. by   emily_mom
    Well, if she were talking that loud that you overheard her, it is possible that others also heard. I would definitely say something to her. How would you feel if that were your son?

  8. by   teeituptom
    Howdy ya'll
    From deep in the heart of texas

    Yes its very wrong

    Andby the way, does anyone know what the receptionist at a sperm bank said to customer after a deposit was made????

    doo wah ditty
  9. by   teeituptom
    howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    she said
    " ya'll cum back, ya hear"

    doo wah ditty
  10. by   Zee_RN
    Just finished my HIPPA inservice. Frightening stuff, eh? Imprisonment is a possible punishment. Wow.

    HOWEVER, now when people call on the telephone requesting information on patient so-and-so because they are the patient's cousin, aunt, sister-in-law, best friend, housesitter, we can state that FEDERAL REGULATIONS prohibit us from giving that information out! I, for one, plan on using that line.