Dumb HIPPA codes

  1. What's the dumbest HIPPA code you've heard? I admitted a pt yesterday and I had already suspected that the "elevator wasn't going all the way to the top" with this guy when I asked him if he wanted a to do a HIPPA code. I have found that most of these codes have some meaning to the pts in the past and this guy comes up with 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9!!!! I had to excuse myself from the room!!

    Anyway, I thought we might all get a laugh from a thread such as this. Let's see em!!
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    About grinnurse

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 1,233; Likes: 28
    Mother and RN
    Specialty: Med/Surge

    11 Comments

  3. by   tvccrn
    Maybe my elevator doesn't go all the way to the top either because I haven't the slightest idea what a HIPPA code is. I have worked in healthcare for over 11 years. If I haven't ever heard of this why should the general public?

    tvccrn
  4. by   KMSRN
    In the first place it is HIPAA - Health Information Portability and Accountability Act - not HIPPA.

    In the second place, what the heck is a HIPAA code?
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    I'm with the others...no clue as to what a HIPAA code is.
  6. by   RITA2007
    I'm assuming a HIPPA code is something designated by the patient that someone has to have to receive information about him while he's admitted? Like a password?
  7. by   Blee O'Myacin
    long enough to see any odd ones.

    I think it is funny (not in a "ha-ha" way, more funny/strange) when a family friend or a distant relative calls - with the code - and knows nothing about the patient. I typically assume that the caller knows that they are calling the ICU and that Ms. X can't come to the nurses' station phone because she's intubated, and that it really shouldn't be a shock when you say "well, they are holding their own for now." and can't give an estimation (plus or minus an hour or so, of course ) on time of either extubation or of death.

    So to give the code to every acquaintence and random person in the hallway so they can call the unit and suggest "have you tried eggs? She can't eat? So it's bad then..." seems to go against HIPAA, code or no code. I try to at least find out who I am speaking to and just confirm that they are in fact there and that we are taking care of them and tell them when visiting hours are. (Some things just have to be seen to believed - like not giving an intubated patient scrambled eggs.)

    Blee
  8. by   tvccrn
    Quote from KMSRN
    In the first place it is HIPAA - Health Information Portability and Accountability Act - not HIPPA.
  9. by   Altra
    Quote from KMSRN
    In the first place it is HIPAA - Health Information Portability and Accountability Act - not HIPPA.
    Thank you ... it's a pet peeve of mine too.
  10. by   Melina
    HIPAA is designed to protect the patient from his/her medical condition being discussed without his/her permission. A patient can give permission to anyone s/he sees fit without violating HIPAA.

    Quote from Blee O'Myacin
    So to give the code to every acquaintence and random person in the hallway so they can call the unit and suggest "have you tried eggs? She can't eat? So it's bad then..." seems to go against HIPAA, code or no code. Blee
  11. by   Blee O'Myacin
    the patient really wants the others to have, and how far is too far. Since I really don't have time to make that judgment all the time, I feel funny about giving out too much info over the phone, code or no code. I apologize if I was unclear. Besides, it isn't the patient that is giving out the code in the instances where I mentioned, its the family during the times when the patient is unable to speak for themselves.

    Quote from Melina
    HIPAA is designed to protect the patient from his/her medical condition being discussed without his/her permission. A patient can give permission to anyone s/he sees fit without violating HIPAA.
  12. by   GeminiTwinRN
    The rules in our unit speak specifically to the "code" being given out to ONE family member (unless the admitting RN or charge, etc is given a very valid reason as to why more than one family member needs the code) for the simple fact that the RN who is taking care of your sick ICU family member needs to be concentrating on just that, taking care of the person in the bed. NOT giving out information to any/all family members, friends, church friends, etc etc.

    Anyone who answers the phone in our unit knows that we have a list that is kept that has every patient's name and contact person on it, next to the code and each shift the RN taking care of the patient updates the condition of the patient by circling the Fair, Stabel, etc. This sheet is updated every shift. If someone other than the contact person calls in with the code, we refer them to the person listed as the contact person. If they complain about this fact, we first remind them of the above (the nurse needs to be available to do patient care, etc., not that they don't want to speak to you, it's that she/he is busy caring for your Mom, etc.) and give them the overall condition of the patient. Good, Stable, Fair, Poor, Death, etc.

    If that information doesn't satisfy them, then we let the RN who is taking care of the patient handle the call.

    It works for us, most of the time.
  13. by   Antikigirl
    LOL, we haven't really used the HIPAA codes much...but we are really starting to promote them because it really helps us out with giving out information to people!

    I got silly and really flew with this one day...I had a few fun pts and we came up with codes like in James Bond movies or spy spoofs...like "the purple monkey jumps over the roses", or "your red carnation smells nice". We love it because it makes the patients laugh, typically the person saying it giggle, and we laugh too..and believe you me...we need a good laugh once in a while! LOL!!!!!

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