Hipaa violation-What happens to RN? - page 2

Hello, I have a friend ( and I really mean that - I am NOT asking for me ) who works prn in an E-ICU (Electronic ICU - for those who do not know.) and he called me two days ago pretty upset over... Read More

  1. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from xrayrn
    Well, she was fired.
    Vindictive? Nah, just asking, but it does seem like hipaa needs to be readdressed with a lot of nurses here.
    You have no knowledge that someone was actually IN a patient's chart. As mentioned here already, most EMR systems have the ability to find out who is working on another unit in the same system without actually going into the patient's chart. It isn't a HIPAA violation to pull up the census and see who is assigned to a patient.

    You seem to be irrationally concerned about what happens to another nurse . . . vindictive might be a very good word to use.
  2. by   KRVRN
    It sounds like this nurse went a step or two beyone merely calling up a census list and seeing which nurse was assigned to which pt.

    It's mentioned that she went through charts one by one. She didn't think she was violating HIPAA (I assume) since she wasn't really trying to snoop through pt info, but in reality she would be in violation for every pt chart she opened--assuming it wasn't just a census list. Though my employer would probably want to know why you called up a census list for a unit other than the one you were in, but I don't know if that's necessarily a violation or not. I've known HIPAA violations to lead to warnings or to termination.
  3. by   sanakruz
    Secret to a long life: Mind your own business.
  4. by   Jory
    I don't think it's a fireable offense but she sure as heck needs to be written up for it. That is a major invasion.

    We had a unit secretary that told everyone that one of our nurses was in the ER at another hospital because she saw it on an electronic list. She was suspended for a week.
  5. by   misty97
    You guys arent understanding the post. YES it was Hipaa violation because the nurse went into a chart that she had no business in. And just because you are an employee of the facility it doesnt mean you have no privacy. An employees medical chart is considered a patient chart! Therefor he is entitled to the privacy of any other patient.
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from misty97
    You guys arent understanding the post. YES it was Hipaa violation because the nurse went into a chart that she had no business in. And just because you are an employee of the facility it doesnt mean you have no privacy. An employees medical chart is considered a patient chart! Therefor he is entitled to the privacy of any other patient.
    Respectfully, I think you are the one who is misunderstanding the OP. The man in question was in the chart as the nurse, not as the patient. The employee of the E-ICU could tell he was in the chart without accessing any actual patient information. Therefore she knew he was working in another facility after calling in sick to his job in the E-ICU.

    While you are correct that an employee's medical chart is privacy protected, it isn't privacy-protected information to look to see what nurse is taking care of a patient in an ICU which you are remotely monitoring as a legitimate part of your employment. All it requires is backing out one layer from the individual patient chart to the assignments for that ICU. I can look at any unit in my 1000 bed hospital and see which nurse is assigned to which patient -- all without breaking HIPAA.

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