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HIPPA Violation?

Ob/Gyn   (4,178 Views 19 Comments)
by VTBabyNurse VTBabyNurse (Member)

VTBabyNurse specializes in Mother/Baby.

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Last night a nurse I work with recognized her patient, who had just had a baby, as a friend of her son's. When she left a message on her son's phone that night she told him that his friend had a baby. Her son's ex-wife listened to the message and threatened to report the nurse for a HIPPA violation. Is this a violation?

Working on a postpartum floor, we always have people calling to ask if such and such is a patient there (mom or baby). Are we allowed to tell them yes or no? I have always said I cannot release that information because I wasn't sure.

What should I really be telling them?

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KellNY is a RN and specializes in High Risk In Patient OB/GYN.

710 Posts; 7,476 Profile Views

At our hospital, the pts can opt out of being in the "Pt/Guest Services" computer-ie if someone calls, the operator has no record of that person being a pt. Same if they call the unit-we say "I have no information for you on anyone by that name"-which isn't technically a lie. I don't have any info for you. ;)

If they decide not to opt out, and someone calls, it's either "Yes, Ms. Jones is here, I'll transfer you to her room" or "No, we don't have a Ms. Jones on this floor, can I transfer you to the operator?" or something.

If you have no such policy, how about asking who's calling, having them hold, asking the Pt "Do you want me to transfer your aunt into your phone, or do you not want her aware you're here?" and then using one of the answers above based on what the pt wants. Otherwise, you really can't tell anyone over the phone that some one is a Pt, especially since you probably answer the phone identifying the unit as a postpartum. (At least that's what we learned in nsg. school and at other facilities I've oriented at)

The nurse you worked with violated HIPAA *unless* she spoke with the new mom who gave permission for her to inform her son.

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

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Last night a nurse I work with recognized her patient, who had just had a baby, as a friend of her son's. When she left a message on her son's phone that night she told him that his friend had a baby. Her son's ex-wife listened to the message and threatened to report the nurse for a HIPPA violation. Is this a violation?

Working on a postpartum floor, we always have people calling to ask if such and such is a patient there (mom or baby). Are we allowed to tell them yes or no? I have always said I cannot release that information because I wasn't sure.

What should I really be telling them?

This is absolutely a HIPPA violation. That nurse used information that is confidential that she heard on the job and released it to unauthorized person or persons.:nono: Wehter or not to tell them yes or no depends on hospital policy. Some state that you may acknowledge if they are a patient or not but then you must refer them to the family at their home. You may not release any information unless writen permission by the patient. If they are that close to the family they have their home phone and can contact them at home. Check with you supervisor........in a what if this happends kind of question. So you may get the best answer for you or you can always report this nurse to corporate compliance which is confidential

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VTBabyNurse specializes in Mother/Baby.

42 Posts; 1,367 Profile Views

Thanks for the advice :) After the nurse was threatened she went back into the pt. room and asked the pt. if it was okay if she had told her son about the baby. The pt. said yes, but she got permission only after she had already told her son. Could she still be in trouble if the pt. doesn't care?

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Myxel67 has 15 years experience and specializes in Diabetes ED, (CDE), CCU, Pulmonary/HIV.

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I think that the son's friend is the one who would have the right to charge nurse for HIPPAA violation, (not a vindictive person with a grudge against her ex mother-in-law.

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KellNY is a RN and specializes in High Risk In Patient OB/GYN.

710 Posts; 7,476 Profile Views

I think that the son's friend is the one who would have the right to charge nurse for HIPPAA violation, (not a vindictive person with a grudge against her ex mother-in-law.
yeah, that

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DC3RN has 22 years experience.

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I simply reply that due to privacy rules I cannot give out any information and they will have to get it from the family.

The nurse who made the phone call to her son should have known this.

Hope she learned from this.

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KellNY is a RN and specializes in High Risk In Patient OB/GYN.

710 Posts; 7,476 Profile Views

Why is the ex wife listening to her ex husband's messages???

Ooh-good catch.

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Myxel67 has 15 years experience and specializes in Diabetes ED, (CDE), CCU, Pulmonary/HIV.

463 Posts; 5,375 Profile Views

why is the ex wife listening to her ex husband's messages???

i think she's one of those ex-wives with benefits:biere:

:roll:roll:roll:roll:roll:roll:roll:roll:roll:roll

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