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Is greeting a patient by their first name verboten with Hipaa?

Non-medical employee of a health care facility here, very thankful to get your opinion on my HIPAA issues. Here's my question: after talking to a patient in the hallway of the facility, the patient bade me goodbye and I did the same, adding their first name (first name only, no last name). As I did this, a visitor walked by and may have heard that first name. Is my using that patient's first name a Hipaa problem seeing as how it was in the public hallway of our facility? Thank you!

Thanks very much! This gives me peace of mind :).

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

IMO, it's probably a lot less identifying to call someone by their first name than by their last name...unless of course, they have an unusual first name.

I see no HIPAA violation either.

You've got to call them something, right?

One of our docs could never remember his patients' names. So he called all men "Chief" and all women "Honey." And he got away with that.

As a woman of age, I really hate it when some stranger calls me by my first name. Hate "Honey" or "Dearie" even more.

As a woman of age, I really hate it when some stranger calls me by my first name. Hate "Honey" or "Dearie" even more.

I wouldn't like it at all. However, this Doc looks kind of like a sixties hippy, and somehow it just doesn't sound like the typical "honey" coming out of anyone else's mouth.

I also know a woman who calls everyone "sweety" or "baby." Normally, I would be gagging, but somehow she really pulls it off. I have no explanation, only that coming from her, it sounds like a really warm endearment. You find yourself saying, "aww, shucks" while blushing. And I'm the last person to ever have that kind of reaction.

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