HIPAA and Obituaries

  1. I am extremely new to caregiving. I took my classes for my Washington State HCA-C in January and received my certification in April. I've been employed in a caregiving position for 2 months, but worked as an Activities Intern for the 3 months before that.

    Since February, 7 people have passed away at my workplace. I never want to forget them. I never want to forget those lives I was involved in. I know writing a personal list with their names would likely be illegal. But can I obtain and keep the newspaper obituaries? I know it'd be ridiculous to ban everyone from keeping obituaries, but is it different for caregivers, especially if you took care of the person in question? Thanks.
  2. Visit ILoveMusic profile page

    About ILoveMusic

    Joined: Apr '16; Posts: 1

    5 Comments

  3. by   brownbook
    An obituary in a newspaper is not a medical record. There is nothing in a newspaper obituary that would fall into the category of a medical record.

    So yes you may keep obitutaries of patients you have cared for.
  4. by   Tenebrae
    I keep a copy of online obituaries for people that I've cared for. I'm an RN
  5. by   Kyrshamarks
    HIPAA also stops being in effect upon death. The courts have ruled that dead people have no expectations of privacy.
  6. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Quote from Kyrshamarks
    HIPAA also stops being in effect upon death. The courts have ruled that dead people have no expectations of privacy.
    Not true. HIPAA protections extend for 50 years post death. Health Information of Deceased Individuals | HHS.gov

    15-Do the HIPAA Privacy Rule protections apply to the health information of deceased individuals | HHS.gov

    Obituaries however are in the public domain
  7. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from ILoveMusic
    I am extremely new to caregiving. I took my classes for my Washington State HCA-C in January and received my certification in April. I've been employed in a caregiving position for 2 months, but worked as an Activities Intern for the 3 months before that.

    Since February, 7 people have passed away at my workplace. I never want to forget them. I never want to forget those lives I was involved in. I know writing a personal list with their names would likely be illegal. But can I obtain and keep the newspaper obituaries? I know it'd be ridiculous to ban everyone from keeping obituaries, but is it different for caregivers, especially if you took care of the person in question? Thanks.

    Once a person passes and it becomes "Public knowledge" ie: Obituaries, you may certainly keep them.

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