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giving patient appointment info to interpreter

HIPAA   (933 Views 6 Comments)
by harvestmoon harvestmoon (Member) Member

1,496 Profile Views; 51 Posts

I am currently a nursing student but have been working as a lab rat (blood draws, EKGs) for a a year and a half now.  i work in a clinic which sees a large immigrant population and interpreters are used for a good number of the patients i see.  i have access to the charts of all the patients that come into the lab as i need to check people in (EPIC) and look for lab orders and sometimes I need to check provider's notes/encounters/old labs/etc. 

On occasion an interpreter will come to the lab and ask if a specific patient has checked in yet/is in the lab.  i have always refused to tell them but my coworkers (who have worked there for decades) have no problem telling the interpreters if the patient they are meeting has an appointment and whether or not they have arrived.  i figure that it is the interpreter's job to get this information from their dispatch and wait for their patient to arrive and, without specific instructions from their patient, no access to their appointment info from me will be forthcoming.  my coworkers have not corrected me, so i am thinking my actions are correct, but i am wondering if i am inconveniencing the interpreters unnecessarily.  what say you learned professionals?

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7 Followers; 3,263 Posts; 21,914 Profile Views

If the interpreter is assigned to assist a patient for an appointment in your lab then they have every right to know if the patient has arrived or not. 

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51 Posts; 1,496 Profile Views

thanks so much!

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

1 Follower; 1,393 Posts; 12,475 Profile Views

Yes, you are inconveniencing them unnecessarily.  

The interpreter has been called to serve a patient.  That is protected by HIPAA, so the interpreter has a "right to know" if they have arrived or checked in.

The alternative...having them wait in the lobby and wonder if the patient has shown up.  Please be respectful of their time...they are performing a service, just like you.

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by K8e New Nurse

13 Posts; 171 Profile Views

Yes, the interpreter has a right to know. No HIPPA violation here.

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