Published Feb 14, 2004
I frequently lurk here but seldom post. I have a question. Should I report a fellow nurse for a hippa violation?
Here is what happened. I have ovarian cancer. I was at the Cancer Center yesterday to have blood work drawn from my port. The RN who drew my blood (in a private enclosed room) was a nurse I worked with about 20 years ago. She started to tell me about all the nurses she has taken care of at the cancer center: naming them by name and disease. She named 3 nurses when I stopped her and asked about hippa. She stated that this is just chatter and doesn't count.
When I got home and had more time to think about this, I wondered what she is telling other people about me. I hate to report a fellow nurse, but I feel she really violated confidentiality. Should I just give a heads up to her manager? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
IMHO - you should have told her you don't find it appropriate and that it made you uncomfortable...i mean, you sat there and listened and violated hippa just as well.... i know that sounds harsh, and i really don't mean it to...but i feel that as nurses we should support each other and that we do that best by interacting w/ each other rather than reporting to a supervisor....just my 2 cents
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
That was a HUGE violation. Think of it this way: would the other nurses appreciate that one airing out their business?
You can bet that your business is now being aired all over the city as well.
I think that you did the correct thing by asking her flat out about HIPPA....
and her response indicates that she doesn't have a CLUE the actual policies regarding HIPPA and that a phone call to her supervisor is in order.
She doesn't deserve to be sanctioned but that doesn't mean she doesn't need reeducation on the HIPPA policy and what that entails.
Maybe she's not the only one at the facility that needs re-educating. Perhaps a letter to the manager describing what happened and how you felt would be in order. This was truly a violation of HIPAA.
I would report her. Like said, your business is being aired also. You attempted to tell her about HIPPA. If she had said, "Oh, my! I'm sorry. You're right." Then I would have thought she would think twice next time. But since she said it was idle chit chat, hmmm? I would arrange a face-to-face meeting with the supervisor. It's hard, but people like that need to get fined. It won't be taken seriously until that happens. :angryfire
Bernie, you did NOT just sit there and listen...I can imagine that you were shocked by what you were hearing. This person caught you off guard during a vulnerable time. You did the right thing by mentioning HIPPA. I would probably call the nurse manager and, without naming names, say what happened. I would say that I was disgusted with the person's behavior but since it may have been an honest mistake, they should provide some more information to their employees about HIPPA (either in a staff meeting, brief inservice, letter, etc.). If it happened again, I would name names. Haha, I'm tough on valentine's day...let me literally stop and smell my beautiful roses! :biggringi
She did not just sit their and listen. Re-read her post. She said she stopped her and mentioned HIPPA. Also she was there as a patient and probably had other things on her mind besides correcting a nurse. I think she should report this. Too much of that stuff happens all over the place. Many health care workers go outside of their own hospital for care due to gossip. I know a nurse who paid high co-pays because she did not want to have her baby in our hospital due to this very thing.
IMHO - you should have told her you don't find it appropriate and that it made you uncomfortable...i mean, you sat there and listened and violated hippa just as well....
Report this blatant violation of HIPAA. the others would thank you as would I. this person is not playing with the full deck and I doubt her capability in many areas of nursing if she can't get this ONE BASIC RULE DOWN.
The nurse doesn't have a clue or doesn't care to have a clue. What she did was unprofessional, illegal, and she needs to be called on it. I would report the incident to her nurse manager ... and you did the right thing telling her she was violating HIPPA. I would make it clear to the manager that you have taken notes of your office vist/lab draw, the conversation with the manager, and that if any information -- your name, medical information, etc., is discussed, you will seek action.
Blessings to you and hope you feel well.
Something needs to be done. She has no RIGHT to discuss people's private lives.
barefootlady, ADN, RN
I would report this incident to the nurse manager of the unit and to the risk manager of the facility. It is apparent that this nurse, and maybe others, need another inservice on HIPPA.
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