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HIPAA Breach?

by jeane1090 jeane1090 (New) New


Looking for your opinion regarding this scenario and if it constitutes a breach. My co worker asked me to quickly look up a lab value on one of her patients as I was signed into my meditech and she wasn't near a computer. The patient is on the same floor and I have been assigned to them recently in the past but not this particular day. Would this be considered a breach?

No that is not a HIPAA breach; just using teamwork in caring for patients.

2 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

No that is not a HIPAA breach; just using teamwork in caring for patients.

That's what I thought. But I'm just confused as to how they determine a nurse has breached confidentiality when we often have to access many different online charts from patients thats not assigned to us.

I don't know what exact flags they set up and I don't care.

Only access charts for legitimate care needs in the course of working on your floor's team caring for the patients there. Operate according to that basic standard an you can relax and not worry about it. HIPAA is not there to impede the care of patients.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

No. I agree about teamwork. You are not accessing a pt for any other reason than to relay a lab value while you are in the program, saving your teammate time. Especially if she was perhaps on the phone with a provider.

@jeane1090, out of curiosity, has your employer said something that has lead you to believe that accessing charts for reasons like yours would not be appropriate? I'm only asking because it seems like there are sometimes blanket statements and oversimplifications that lead to misunderstandings about what actually constitutes a HIPAA violation. If you have any more questions we can try to clear them up. I hate to see nurses fearful over things like this.