Will I get in trouble?

  1. I started a new job in a hospital that I was previously a patient at. I work at the clinic and have to look up a lot of people especially if they call in because I do triage nursing and people from a community call in. In one instance I looked up a friend because I was curious even though they were not a patient at the time and they did not call. I also looked up myself. Can I get in trouble for looking up myself. Also I don't think I would get in trouble for looking up my friend as they would have no way to tell if they called in or not.
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  2. Visit Mousyrn profile page

    About Mousyrn

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 2
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    12 Comments

  3. by   psu_213
    As for looking up yourself--that depends on the policy of your place of employment. At my hospital, we are allowed to look up our own medical records with the exception of psych and etOH/drug treatment. Your facility's policy is what governs things here--it is not really a HIPAA issue.

    Looking into the record of someone else you are not caring for is always, 100% a no-no. The fact that you were looking just because you were "curious" makes it even worse. Sorry to be harsh about it, but I cannot even think of an excuse you can give for why you had any business in that chart. There is a chance you will not be flagged, and it will never be questioned; if it is, you just need to hope for leniency. I know this is blunt, but you have put yourself in a bad situation.
  4. by   Mousyrn
    How long before Im flagged?
  5. by   nurse2033
    You did violate HIPAA but if no one looks you will probably not get caught. Why would you put yourself at risk?
  6. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Mousyrn
    How long before Im flagged?
    No way to know for sure but there is no statute of limitations for HIPAA violations. Surely you learned about HIPAA in your training. Why on earth did you look up your friend? You've certainly opened yourself up to a heap of trouble. Best to fly under the radar and not tick your manager off for anything else.

    As for looking up yourself. We have to sign a medical release to ourselves and we may not look in our chart while we are on the clock. Some places won't let you do it at all.
  7. by   Ruas61
    You know this is wrong.

    You need to stop.

    You are courting trouble.
  8. by   JKL33
    Quote from Mousyrn
    Also I don't think I would get in trouble for looking up my friend as they would have no way to tell if they called in or not.
    I'm no fan of the way people/facilities misunderstand and misuse HIPAA. But I am a fan of the spirit of HIPAA, a big part of which is to afford patients proper privacy/confidentiality. You have violated that, and your behavior in looking up your friend's chart is a violation of both HIPAA and basic nursing ethics.

    In other words, what you did is unprofessional, unethical, and illegal.

    You're not on a good course, here.
  9. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Mousyrn
    Also I don't think I would get in trouble for looking up my friend as they would have no way to tell if they called in or not.
    I totally missed this! So you are saying that it's okay as long as you don't get caught?!!! Where are your morals? What kind of ethical code do you live by?
    Last edit by sirI on Feb 14 : Reason: edited per OP request
  10. by   Irish_Mist
    What on earth were you thinking? No offense but this is basic common sense 101 of what NOT to do as a hospital employee much less an RN. I have seen people fired for much less. A bunch of people at my hospital got fired for accessing ED patient charts to see if they were appropriate for certain units- charge nurses were surveying patients and looking where they didn't need to be. Do not be surprised if your friend's chart was flagged and you are called into the office to discuss why you were in a chart of someone who wasn't your patient. Of course, it could go unnoticed. For future reference, no matter how curious you are, do not look in a chart unless you have a need to do so related to patient care. Period.
  11. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from nurse2033
    You did violate HIPAA but if no one looks you will probably not get caught. Why would you put yourself at risk?
    More important than that, why would she violate the privacy of another person, particularly someone she claims is a FRIEND?!?

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?
  12. by   ponymom
    Quote from Mousyrn
    How long before Im flagged?


    Good God, another one worried only about getting caught...
  13. by   Irish_Mist
    Quote from Horseshoe
    More important than that, why would she violate the privacy of another person, particularly someone she claims is a FRIEND?!?

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?
    Right?! I would be furious if I found out someone I knew was looking at my chart without having any authorization.
  14. by   inthecosmos
    Quote from ponymom
    Good God, another one worried only about getting caught...
    For real. I do not understand this.

    You don't see what you did wrong at all, do you, OP?

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