Master's Program and HIPAA

by BabsRN-BSN BabsRN-BSN (New) New Nurse Student

Specializes in Med-Surg/Ortho. Has 7 years experience.

I am working on my MSN in Management and Leadership. Often the assignments say something like discuss an example from your practice. I will never give patient information and I know not to do that. My question is how do you refer to the patient? If you change the name just to make the writing easier to George for example (instead of patient A) how do you note in the writing that the name has been changed?



Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,124 Posts

4 hours ago, BabsRN-BSN said:

how do you note in the writing that the name has been changed?

Can you use a footnote?

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,561 Posts

I wrote "the patient, Susan Jones (not the patient's real name), had..." per the direction of my professor


6,328 Posts

Also, you probably don't need to call them anything any more than absolutely necessary. I don't prefer to make up names. So when possible I would say, "One patient reported...." Etc.  Keep things generic: "Recently I was performing service recovery with a patient who reported a lengthy wait in the emergency department waiting room of a community hospital...."

Just limit the amount of hassle altogether as much as possible.

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB. Has 52 years experience. 1,187 Posts

You could also use obviously made-up initials, especially if you are referring to more than one person: AA, BB, CC, DD, etc.


Specializes in PICU. Has 16 years experience. 1,251 Posts

Other things you can try is something like this.

In my setting I often have clinical issues in management such a,b,c

I have responded such to these issue in this way a,b,c

Often the patient population we see have these clinical issues

Our hospuital has XXX protocols and policies to address these clinical issues.


Recently I had to respond to XXX clinical issue.  The patient had complex medical/social/etc issues.  My response included ....


There are ways to discuss your clinical setting without too much evidence. Obviously if something is very specific, I would use other examples.