How Has HIPAA Impacted Your work environment???

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

Just wondered How HIPAA has impacted us in our jobs, as I know it depends on what type of setting you are in, and the new federal laws are pretty much the same everywhere.. Did your facility meet the April deadline?? Has this limited you from being able to give a nurse to nurse report by phone? Does this limit the amount of information you receive from a transfering facility? Have your family members gotten really mad because you can no longer tell them about how someone is recovering or declining?

Just Wondering....................

Tink RN

74 Posts


It is terrible. I work in an ER and the HIPPA laws have been a raging nightmare. Just the other day I had a lady burst into tears on the phone ... her mother came in by EMS and a relative notified her - she was vacationing in another state and there I was, "Ma'm, we can't give out any information on the phone." I can't even begin to tell you how bad I felt. The facility I work in has threatened automatic termination for the slightest HIPPA violation and even go as far as making bogus inquiry calls to test the staff. How are others handling these situations?


1 Article; 5,758 Posts

Medical people have to wage a campaign to get congress to back off of these rules. It is no use getting on these boards and complaining. I am going strait to the source and they are going to get a piece of my mind.


48 Posts

I am so tired if the HIPPA crap! The patients don't want to hear this when thy come in. And the amount of time it takes away from what really needs done is ridiculous. Let alone when the families blame you for not giving them information. Last night a daughter called in to find out how her dad was doing. It was 11pm (hmmm, wonder why she didn't call earlier?) First she was mad that the phones in the pt rooms are turned off at 9:30, but you should have heard her when I had to tell her that the only thing I could tell her was that he was a pt on the unit. GRRRRRRR!:(

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Yes it has impacted my work role badly. I am finding my hands tied to help a great deal of people.



41 Posts

I haven't even begun nursing school yet and can only imagine how bad this will be when I get out and persue a nursing career. The nurse at my son's Dr.'s office said that it's so bad that if he were to be diagnosed with something and say I wasn't sure of what they told me it was or what to do, so I call back to double check what they told me, they can't even tell me over the phone! They said I would have to come back in because they have no way of knowing it was really me calling. Now that is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,501 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I actually like it for the most part. When someone calls if they don't have the PIN for the patient it's "sorry, they are here, but that's all I can say". Most people are understanding, but every blue moon someone gets angry.

On admissions, I make sure the NOK or POA of a confused patient gets the PIN #. If they are oriented and I'm talking to a family memeber I give them the policy and say it's up the the patient to give them the PIN, but at least they know they have that option.

It's nice when they have the PIN to be able to give a little more information over the phone. Before, no matter who it was we couldn't give any info.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Tweety . . .I've never heard of using a PIN number.

Wondering how we would implement it. In the cases where a family member just finds out through the grapevine that a relative is in the hospital and the relative hasn't had a chance to give them the PIN, that still means you disappoint a very worried relative.

In a way I think it is good but I don't think it will stop the stuff that makes me mad. Docs talking about patients to other patients. Talking in the ER when there is someone 3 feet away in another bed overhearing your conversation. Staff talking about private patient info with other staff, who do not need to know.

I think the employees of the hospital are the worst violators of patient confidentiality.



34 Posts

since hippa has been implimented I truly have not changed any patient care. I have never given info over the phone. I just say the patient is under our care & if you wish to know the condition call the patients room or come in & talk with the patient. I have never felt talking with the family over the phone is my job. As far as a "PIN #", I have not heard of this. I agree with stevielynn we as hospital employee's are the biggest violators of the hippa rules. I really don't have a problem with it.

Tink RN

74 Posts

Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy

On admissions, I make sure the NOK or POA of a confused patient gets the PIN #.

3rd ShiftGuy - Tell me more about this PIN# you are referring to. I have never heard of this before. Is this something your facility came up with or is this a standard HIPPA code no one informed me of?

Monica RN,BSN

603 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

Thanks to those of you who have started to reply to this thread. Just for the record, we are dealing with HIPAA not HIPPA, like many want to call it, but it realy does not matter, no matter how ya spell it it still amounts to being a pain in the you know where.

HIPAA is Health Information Privacy Accountability Act, but is is MORE PROPERLY "Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act. HIPAA is not new to the industry, as it has been around since 1996, when HIPAA was passed into congress in an effort to protect medical information. There were many delays in the deadline compliance in various levels of the legislature. Many years and layers of government and legislative proceedings brought about HIPAA as we know it today.


Tink RN

74 Posts

Oh ... pardon me. I was referring to the






Therefore HIPAA would be the cosequence of violating HIPPA. Or was it HIPPO? lol

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