Photos of patient info - Inpatient setting

  1. I recently heard of a Electrophysiology (EP) NP who took iphone photos on an inpatient unit of a pt's abnormal rhythm (ECG strip) and sent it to to the EP MD who was following this pt for his opinion. The NP sent this photo immediately to his phone.

    Also, a RN took a photo with an iphone of a pt's monitor simply to get a picture of the unique waveform changes while a swan was being inserted. NO pt info was in photo nor were fellow staff members viewable; the pt was not aware the photo was taken. The photo was simply for personal educational purposes to the RN and was not shared with anyone. I'm not interested in hearing about personal electronic devices being used in patient rooms as I know this is not appropriate, but I would like to know how others feel in regards to the HIPAA portion of these 2 situations.

    Both nurses, BSN and ANP, in both situations clearly understand HIPAA at this point in their careers. Are these situations considered punishable? Illegal?
  2. Visit gemini81sg profile page

    About gemini81sg

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 46; Likes: 22
    R.N.; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in CV-ICU, Rehab, Med-Surg, Nursing Home


  3. by   nurse2033
    Some employers have specific cell phone policies that might apply. But no, as long as no identifying information was revealed it is not a HIPAA violation. Educators do this all the time. I have taken copies of ECGs, blacked out all the patient information, and used it for classes.
  4. by   Altra
    I'd like to pose this question to you: the images of rhythm strips, wounds, anatomical abnormalities, etc. that you have viewed during your education ... where do you think they came from before being reprinted in textbooks?