I have a confession to make - page 3

Okay I have a confession to make. I looked up my own chart (lab test results) at work. Yes, Its a "HIPAA" violation to see you own chart or medical records, but this was a situation of potential life... Read More

  1. by   Rascal1
    Chatsdale, I don't understand what you mean,whose name?,who is informed,what pt.? ....
  2. by   Callinurse
    Yes, this is a HIPAA violation. I used to teach the classes when we first introduced this to all staff.

    It is even against HIPAA to look up anything on a patient on your floor that you do not work with.

    Please don't give the wrong impression to some one here that do not know for sure what the law states.

    A facility will doubtfully terminate you for this unless the doc complains about something or if they are trying to get ride of you anyways.

    When you are admitted to the facility or go to have blood work or even pick up a prescription for the first time each year they often give you a copy of HIPAA.

    Take a look at it. I was involved in damage control for the facility I worked at in 1996. That was when it was first passed but there were so many components to the law that it was not enforced until hospitals had time to correct many different systems.

    This is the same reason you must always use a fax cover sheet even if you are just faxing to another department in the same building.

    I would not comment if I didn't know it for fact.

  3. by   Pierrette
    Quote from Callinurse
    Yes, this is a HIPAA violation. I used to teach the classes when we first introduced this to all staff.

    Quote from Callinurse
    I would not comment if I didn't know it for fact.

    Not trying to be hateful, because sometimes things come across wrong when writing...

    Having read HIPAA myself several times as part of my job, perhaps you could point me to the regulation that states that looking at your own information is a HIPAA violation. I can't find it and never could.
  4. by   BabyLady
    It is not a HIPAA violation, it is a violation of hospital policy.

    Many folks don't really know the difference and lump them both into the same thing, and I have no idea as to why. They are not the same thing.

    The reason is...the results have not been confirmed by a physician nor have you had consultation...therefore, you can assume something that may affect immediate decisions in your life...that may or may not be a fact.

    Have you ever accidently entered the wrong information on the wrong chart and had to go back and fix it? Especially with electronic charts?

    It can happen...what if you had blood work done and the lab tech entered someone's HIV positive test result on your chart by accident...then a few minutes later said, "Oh, that wasn't supposed to be Susie Black, it was Susie Blue!"...and between that time you pulled your test results..and then went out and shot yourself b/c you didn't want to die from HIV...or maybe you pulled a test and it may have suggested you had cancer...but the physician knew of more tests that were more accurate or maybe there was some reason why the one you took had a false-positive.

    Jeez...we could write a book...this is why hospitals don't want employees to pull their own.

    The general public doesn't have 24/7 access to it, they have to make a formal request...the hospital simply wants to treat and control medical records of employees the same way.
    Last edit by BabyLady on Jan 13, '09
  5. by   BabyLady
    Quote from 2ndwind
    Please explain why looking up your own records is a reason for dismissal. You are your own "clearance" to your medical records after all. I have never heard anyone explain why, well.
    See my post.
  6. by   Callinurse
    It is a violation of the hospital policy if the policy is updated and it is a HIPAA violaition.

    It doesn't matter if it is a test result or any other part of your medical record.

    Check out this link: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/ HIPAA itself is quite lenghtly. The federal regulations = laws also have a standard you might say dictionary to tell you what certain words mean EVERYTIME they are used. You should know how to read these. Like when "must" is use, it means that there is no room for intrepretation or flexability. It must be exactly what they write.

    This site also has a link to file a complaint if you think you records have been violated.

    The best thing is to not go against your hospital policy. If the policy is at fault the hospital will be held liable. If you are at fault for using the policy then you can be find.

    I dug a little further and this is the actual HIPAA regulation: http://aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/pl104191.htm it also includes the definitions.

    The fine can maxes out at 25,000 per calendar year.

    However, this what not meant to keep your record from you. It was meant to protect you record. I think one of the first sections of the regulation states the purpose.

    If anyone could get your info can you imagine how a health insurance company might reject your policy renewal if they new you had Diabetes or HIV?

    There has been a system for accessing your record for years. Its like everything else we have to respect the systems. All or nothing. there is no inbetween.

    I think I am going to sign off on this thread. I just hope that students don't get the wrong impression from others opinions. As new nurses it is common to assume what you see others do to be correct. Keep your good habits because you will see plenty of lazy or poor habits.

    I hope these links will help those of you who are truely interested in looking at HIPAA.

    Have a happy New Year .............