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HIPAA violation? What to do?

Posted
Galdurnit Galdurnit (New) New

I have an exam tomorrow and one of the things I am required to know is what course of action is the RN supposed to take if she notices another medical professional breaching HIPAA? It's confusing me because it's such a slippery slope ...

I'll just give an example: report is being given right outside a semi-private room. The nightshift nurse has to demonstrate how she did the dressing changes, the report also must include some personal information about that patient. The nightshift nurse begins to reveal that information within earshot of the other patient in the room. Should the dayshift nurse stop her and recommend that they talk about the personal relevant information in a private closed room, and then come to the room and have the night shift nurse explain at the bedside how she changed the dressing during her shift and the condition, etc? Or should she do something else?

Another question ... what if it's a blatant violation? Like taking a picture of a patient on their personal cell phone (I know that is absolutely not allowed) and then sharing it with others, when it has nothing to do with the patient's care, etc. If the RN took the picture and then texted it to a friend. What is the nurse supposed to do who witnessed this?

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

Follow your employers policy and procedures.....

OK, you are saying that if hospital policy is to report violations to admin, then in the first situation I should report the nurse who spoke too loudly for a HIPAA violation? Even if it was an accident?

also, on the exam, I'm sure there won't be an answer so straightforward.

TheNGTKingRN

Specializes in General Surgery.

Sure report them for speaking too loudly, see how long you last there yourself. Lol

Nursing school just get sillier and sillier with hypothetical situations.

Gosh, grab your coworkers and say "hey lets wrap up report outside" then just tell em ... "hey so give me the details about the patient" *hint hint nudge nudge*.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

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

OK, you are saying that if hospital policy is to report violations to admin, then in the first situation I should report the nurse who spoke too loudly for a HIPAA violation? Even if it was an accident?

also, on the exam, I'm sure there won't be an answer so straightforward.

This stuff drives me crazy.

First...it drives me nuts.Bedside report is not intended to be all the information outside the door. report should be the standard report then go into the room to introduce yourself, check dressings IV's line and PCA pumps, pulses neuro checks etc.

Now as for the incidental leaking of information it is covered under HIPAA

General Provision. The Privacy Rule permits certain incidental uses and disclosures that occur as a by-product of another permissible or required use or disclosure, as long as the covered entity has applied reasonable safeguards and implemented the minimum necessary standard, where applicable, with respect to the primary use or disclosure. See 45 CFR 164.502(a)(1)(iii). An incidental use or disclosure is a secondary use or disclosure that cannot reasonably be prevented, is limited in nature, and that occurs as a result of another use or disclosure that is permitted by the Rule.
Incidental Uses and Disclosures

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

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

Galdurnit

Another question ... what if it's a blatant violation? Like taking a picture of a patient on their personal cell phone (I know that is absolutely not allowed) and then sharing it with others, when it has nothing to do with the patient's care, etc. If the RN took the picture and then texted it to a friend. What is the nurse supposed to do who witnessed this?

Now this is a grievous offense and a blatant violation. You would need to report to a supervisor manager immediately.

Esme,

THANK YOU!! That's what I needed to know :) . I needed to know if there is a specific place to in the hospital (usually) where you could file anonymously or whether you would go to the Dept. of health.

I'm sure you all remember, I am going to get a question that is half common sense and judgement, and half knowledge I will need for the NCLEX. It's not going to an easy question (whatever my professor asks us) ... there will be 1 wrong answer and 3 "right" but I will have to choose the most right one based pretty much on the situation and common sense. The only thing I was hung up on was where to go. All I can do is figure out what I think I need to know and make sure I know that.

Thank you, my exam is today, I will come back and let you know how I did.

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Except OP is a student who has a test tomorrow....

Follow your employers policy and procedures.....

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

Except OP is a student who has a test tomorrow....

I have had questions on exams just as ridiculous and that was the answer.....

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

What Esme said. It's not a HIPAA violation if a patient is in a double room and the patient in the second bed space overhears the oncoming and off-going nurse talking.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

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

Esme,

THANK YOU!! That's what I needed to know :) . I needed to know if there is a specific place to in the hospital (usually) where you could file anonymously or whether you would go to the Dept. of health.

I'm sure you all remember, I am going to get a question that is half common sense and judgement, and half knowledge I will need for the NCLEX. It's not going to an easy question (whatever my professor asks us) ... there will be 1 wrong answer and 3 "right" but I will have to choose the most right one based pretty much on the situation and common sense. The only thing I was hung up on was where to go. All I can do is figure out what I think I need to know and make sure I know that.

Thank you, my exam is today, I will come back and let you know how I did.

Remember follow chain of command, obey policies.