Left patients chart at another patient’s home

Posted
by guest1143647 guest1143647 (Member)

Specializes in Peds. Has 18 years experience.

Just what the title says. I was working on a chart from my part time job on the night shift at another job. I accidentally left in in the home. What can I do besides the obvious?

I feel so stupid. The job has lots of downtime so I thought why not work on it now?

 

What would happen if I get reported?

Edited by Runsoncoffee99

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

If the family or another nurse finds it and says something to your agency, you will probably get fired.  I would call the family immediately and tell them you are coming over to pick up something important that you left.  Don't say what it is until you get there, but they have probably already found it.  If so, just plead with them to keep the information to themselves.  After all, if your agency fires you, then they will no longer have your services.

Surfin USA

Surfin USA

105 Posts

I would keep other patients records in an opaque file folder with the words 

CONFIDENTIAL DO NOT OPEN

IF FOUND CALL:

Name.

Phone.

Email. 

Whats done is done. If its in a folder already, call the patient and ask if you can come by and collect it. 

If it is out loose, I mean. It's already happened. The best you can do is go get it  make a reasonable effort to protect that information. 

You can ask the patient if they saw the paper you left there and if they say no, thats great. 

If they say yes IDK what to tell you. 

At least when its in a folder if you forget the folder, theres a good faith reminder not to open the folder, so hopefully HIPAA won't be breached. 

Also you might be able to get a metal clipboard case that locks. That way, forgetting it isn't a HIPAA issue at all. 

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 41 years experience. 4,292 Posts

How is it you are allowed to carry charts from one job to another?  That in itself is a HIPAA violation waiting to happen.  I would go back there and retrieve the chart NOW if you haven't already done so.  Tell them you mislaid  some paperwork and pray they haven't seen it.

If there's any chance they looked at it, I don't know what to tell you.  The ethical thing would be to come clean with your employer and the patient whose privacy was breached.

Surfin USA

Surfin USA

105 Posts

4 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

How is it you are allowed to carry charts from one job to another?  That in itself is a HIPAA violation waiting to happen.  I would go back there and retrieve the chart NOW if you haven't already done so.  Tell them you mislaid  some paperwork and pray they haven't seen it.

If there's any chance they looked at it, I don't know what to tell you.  The ethical thing would be to come clean with your employer and the patient whose privacy was breached.

Its not a HIPAA violation in itself to have someone elses records with you in someone elses home. 

The violation is failing to make a reasonable effort to protect the other patients privacy. 

In home health care, we providers have to carry records around with us. We used to have to carry a paper record of each visit. So if we are having three or four patients to see, we would simply use a portable file case or a folder, to reasonably protect that information. 

I always write "Confidental do not open" and my contact info on my folder, in case I did leave it somewhere.

Kinda like mail. You don't get mailed a clasped envelope with private info in it, thinking your mailman is actually snooping. 

Or leaving your phone or ipad out and unlocked and forgetting it, means someones gonna dig through your electronic record keeping system, either. 

I do think it helps to HAVE a clasp on your envelope or some other simple device, to keep papers inside the folder itself, and safe from slipping out. 

I have done other peoples charts at another clients home, and simply covered the name up, or used a protection wall (the folder can act as a privacy screen, when stood upright) from clients and family members who may be walking by.

Thats not violating HIPAA because a reasonable effort is being made to protect that persons personal and private information. 

Leaving a PAGE OUT of someones record, in someone else's home, thats a HIPAA violation, if it was seen and able to be read. A blind client, however, who had no other visitors, wouldnt see that information, so that would be the only exemption, I would think.