I'm doing the opening pleasantries with my potential new client when it all comes out in a flood of controlled anger. Never have I been on the receiving end of this kind of information. She alleges an episode of sexual abuse against a staff member at a discharging facility naming first names and giving details. I have no reason not to believe her but that is irrelevant.
I know this is reportable and spent the morning reporting it to various agencies. I was directed to report it to the alleged offending facility administrator by the State DOH and our corporate director. This is where it gets sticky. When we were on the phone with the facility administrator (speaker with my director and DOCS in the room), it occurred to me that I didn't know how much information was too much information. I did name the patient and did name the alleged perpetrator but gave no other details citing client confidentiality. The administrator grilled me but I stood my ground stating I wanted to speak to my supervisor before divulging anything else and asked to have the conversation ended.
My first obligation is to my patient. Corporate agreed and will stand by me. Was this handled correctly? I am in PA. What will happen next?
Dec 20, '07
Wow... Can't say where it goes from here, but I commend you for stopping in your tracks until you got further input form your supervisor. Things can get reeeeeeeeeeal sticky with the "too much info", naming names, HIPAA violations, etc.
I feel for you.. what a mess. And I feel for the patient as well. Any reason she didn't report this while at the facilty itself?
Dec 21, '07
So sorry to hear that you got caught up in the middle of this. Certainly hope that you don't get any negative consequences because from what I read, it seems that you did the best you could under the circumstances. We don't go to work every day expecting situations like this and employers are usually lacking in preparing us for the out of the ordinary. Good luck with this and hope that your client is able to get the help that she needs.