Question Concerning HIPAA and Nursing Care Plan...

  1. I am a nursing student in my first year and recently came across a problem. I have a friend that has a care plan from a previous student. There is no information giving the identification of the patient on the care plan. He sent this care plan out via email to a few friends so we could use the care plan as a reference when writing our first care plans. One person responded to the thread, stating to disregard this care plan, that it is in violation of HIPAA. Being in my first year, I am still learning about HIPAA. Is it a violation of HIPAA if he gave this care plan to other students to use as a reference if it has absolutely no information that gives any one an idea of the patient's identity?
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    About studentB5

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 2
    from US


  3. by   caliotter3
    I would not engage in such activity because of exactly what happened. He made this gesture and someone is trying to get him in trouble. No identifying data, it can't be proven that it was about a real patient. It could have been fictitious. To quote one of my classmates many years ago, she would put as much in her care plan as she could that was geared to tell the instructor what the instructor wanted to hear in order to get a decent grade. She didn't care what was real and what was made up. When we had to write papers, she would make things up to please the instructor. She got A's and no one was the wiser. If I were this young man in question, I would make no further efforts to help any others. Not in his best interests.
  4. by   Daytonite
    no this is not a violation of hipaa. however, sharing care plans sets up a situation for plagiarism to occur. this is the primary reason why you won't find many examples of care plans on the internet. i have been working on a case study and care plan to post on allnurses because of the requests to see an example. the problem has been finding a situation that reduces the risk of plagiarism. the last thing i would want to find is daytonite's care plan for someone with diabetes being used and handed in to an instructor by someone else.

    i respond to care plan questions all the time and occasionally someone comes along and brings up the issue of breech of confidentiality. the fact is that thousands of people have the same signs and symptoms of all kinds of medical diseases/conditions and nursing problems and i would dare them to tell me who the patient is that is being discussed. there are 206 nursing diagnoses and how many patients in the world? as long as specific identifying names and places are not given, who can possibly know what patient is being talked about?

    i have a list of care plans that are posted on the internet if you want them. i am also very willing to help students figure out this nursing process and care planning. i do it all the time here on this forum.
  5. by   itsmejuli
    We love you Daytonite!
  6. by   studentB5
    Thank you very much for your advice.
  7. by   simonsmom
    I have a question about HIPPA, too. We did a process recording and the person interviewing stated a FIRST name only of a person that died many years ago. He received an academic warning and so did my friend as we have to do everything verbatim. My problem is that this is a Federal law and once someone dies it is public record, so how is that a HIPPA violation??? They said it was a school violation, well, as a school you follow the FEDERAL laws because they trump all other ones. So how is this a HIPPA violation per say if the person is dead years ago?