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HIPPA during phone calls

HIPAA   (2,496 Views 12 Comments)
by Tboland88 Tboland88 (Member)

Tboland88 has 1 years experience .

512 Visitors; 22 Posts

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Many families call for an update over the phone. How do you know if it is truly the person who is the POA or emergency contact? I inform them that I can not give out info on the phone. Most get angry with me. Does anyone else experience this?

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295 Visitors; 6 Posts

I always tell them I can not give out any information over the phone. The only thing I can tell you is she is fine she is resting and stable. You can call their room phone if you have any questions or come out to the hospital to visit them

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heron has 40 years experience and works as a bedside nurse on hospice inpatient unit.

14 Likes; 1 Follower; 37,805 Visitors; 2,490 Posts

Some facilities use a pre-established code word or phrase to identify those with permission to get information.

As for identifying who's calling, the rule of thumb is it depends on who's calling whom. If you place the call and ask for a person by name, you can reasonably assume that that's who you're talking to. On the other hand, if the person calls you, you need anither way to verify identity, like the above mentioned code.

ETA: and, yes, people will get angry. I simply say that I'm not trying to be unhelpful, that's how the rules are written to protect privacy. Then I suggest they call either the pt or poa, whichever is appropriate.

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1,142 Likes; 7 Followers; 21,322 Visitors; 2,696 Posts

As above.

At least inpatient, this can largely be solved with the use of codes specific to each admission. Obviously some situations will be exceptions. Don't be defensive on the phone. Use a pleasant phone voice and inform the caller that while you can't give out information in this manner, you'll be happy to transfer the call to the room or give the patient a message.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

26 Likes; 27,417 Visitors; 3,869 Posts

My hospital gives a PIN for each pt that family, etc. can use when calling in.

I someone gets mad ("but I'm her son/daughter/mother/etc.) I tell them "I'm sorry, I understand you are concerned about their condition, but I cannot release this information over the phone without the PIN." If the keep up, I tell them, "were dealing with the federal privacy law, and I could get in big trouble if I violate it." No matter what, I am nice, but I am firm about the idea that I will not give them any information.

P.S. I had to put a lot of effort into making sure I did not say "PIN number." ;)

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kakamegamama works as a student, formerly faculty, jackie of all trades.

23 Likes; 15,447 Visitors; 1,007 Posts

Not sure about HIPPA during phone calls. But, with HIPAA, identifying who can and cannot be given info over the phone regarding the patient is important. If they get mad, they get mad.....that to me, often means they are not the ones who have permission to be given info. I agree with others that they can call the patient's room directly or the poa and ask them.

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573 Likes; 3 Followers; 25,921 Visitors; 5,225 Posts

Most get angry with me.

Not your problem. Patient privacy is your priority.

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Mavrick has 30+ years experience and works as a Certified Post-Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN).

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What does HIPPA mean??

HIPAA refers to Health Insurance Portability and Acountability Act.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

26 Likes; 27,417 Visitors; 3,869 Posts

What does HIPPA mean??

I think this is a losing battle.

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Tboland88 has 1 years experience.

512 Visitors; 22 Posts

I think my hospital should start using the Pin system.

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nurse2033 works as a RN, paramedic.

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I worked at a hospital that used the last few numbers of their medical record number. This way all you have to do is look at their wristband to see if the family has the right number. I will tell family that there is no way for us to tell if it is the press calling, or the crazy uncle, or a stalker. They usually get the point. Once the husband said to me over the phone "if I have to give that number one more time I'm coming down there with my gun". For realsies. It didn't go over particularly well...

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36 Likes; 8,456 Visitors; 484 Posts

A password/pre arranged identification method is usually the best way. The hospital has a duty to ensure reasonable data protections, so you're also covered if family gives out the password.

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