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Kind of an odd question. But is a nurse in a hospital allowed to call a pharmacy to verify that a pt's PCP called in a script for them, or do you need to have the pt sign a release of information consent?

Recently, an elderly patient I was caring for was getting discharged and the MD at the hospital was going to call in her scripts, but she thought her PCP had already called in some of the same scripts recently, but she hadn't had a chance to pick them up. She asked me to call her pharmacy to inquire.

Ayvah, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Specialty. Has 10 years experience.

There is no violation. She is your patient and you are calling related to her current treatment. I have called pharmacies on patients countless times while working both inpatient and outpatient. They are a huge help and a great resource!

I really hate HIPAA for how it burdens and scares healthcare workers. Its interfered in care so often. :(

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

Why wouldn't you be allowed to? I call pharmacies about patients all the time without their permission. If I find a half empty bottle of a controlled substance with a pharmacy label that says it was filled 3 days ago, you bet I'm calling the pharmacy to verify that they did indeed fill it and it was picked up 3 days ago. As soon as I introduce myself as a nurse, they always talk to me.

The phone call is necessary to obtain information that is necessary to provide patient care. Therefore, no violation.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 40 years experience.

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