925_ER_RN 601 Views
Joined: Sep 28, '07;
Posts: 12 (8% Liked)
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I'm fighting an uphill battle, but please...it's HIPAA, not HIPPA.
To all of those who read and commented on my "Can a nurse review previous charts w/o violating HIPPA?" question, I would like to thank you and update you on what has since transpired.
Apparently, my hospital was not able to substantiate any HIPPA violations, so not I am being terminated on the grounds of undocumented medications. If you'll recall, the initial reason that I reviewd charts from past patients was because I had been having problems with our scanning equipment where I would scan meds, it appeared all was fine and then "poof", it was as if the transaction never happened and all of my scanning activity simply disappeared. I reported this to several managers both verbally and in writing and was always dismissed w/o any investigation into the matter.
I was then asked to account for a handful of medications that had not been charted as given and/or wasted which led me to review those charts to try to determine if it was human or technology related errors.
I had been told that I was the ONLY one having this problem until my union rep witnessed a nurse that she was orienting have the same event happen and she promptly reported it to management.
Now I'm being told that management believes that this other incident was of human error and therefore not similar to the issues I had encountered and since there was no way to prove that these were technology based errors that I have provided poor documentation and/or have unaccounted for meds.
To make matters worse, my union rep was told that if I quit, they won't have to turn me into the BRN. Is it just me, or does that sound like a threat? I'm not even sure what they would turn me in for, but as i've already discovered, one can be reported to the BRN for virtually anything with no real proof.
Needless to say I am trying to obtain an attorney. In the meantime, any words of wisdom?
I agree that my manager is a "wuss" to put it mildly. Unfortunately it sounds as if he admits to knowing, and/or gave permission to review the charts that he could face consequences (which I do not understand either. I still believe I had EVERY right to review those charts with or without my manager's approval). I tell ya, I'm so SICK of HIPAA and JACHO. Their intentions are good, but they go way overboard with all of their rules and regulations.
I was alone in the breakroom. All of our other computers are at the nurses' stations and are alot more public.
I also likened my situation to one of reviewing a chart for legal purposes. I just don't see where a violation was made. Thanks for the reply though.
My union rep does not believe me to be in the wrong either. However management and our legal person are stating that I should not have reviewed the charts unless I had premission from management (which I thought I had).
My understanding of HIPAA is that as long as I provided direct care and limit my access to the chart to my charting and care provided, that I was entitled. Aren't we allowed to make late entries should we need to? Although I made no late entries, I do not see how this is any different.
This is VERY frustrating as I can find no information regarding this exact scenario.
I am an ER nurse who works in a facility that utilizes scanning technology for medication administration. Over the past 3 months I have been having issues w/ my scanning where I scan my medications, the computer accepts it and then an hour later all that I have scanned is no longer there. I have reported this problem numerous times to management only to be told, "huh, that's strange", or "well nobody else is having that problem".
I was recently asked to account for some undocumented medications from 2 months ago and told my manager that I would need to review the charts to attempt to determine if I was at fault or if it was a technical issue. He said that was fine and offered to let me use his computer but I chose to use one in our breakroom.
Next thing you know, I'm being told that I'm being investigated for possible HIPAA violations. 1st of all, I believe that I had every right to be in those charts, I reviewed only my documentation, the MD orders and the MAR, made no alterations to the charts and took no PHI out of the ED. I was asked if I had been given permission by my manager to review these charts and I told them I did, however my manager is denying he knew that I intended on looking in the charts (he even came into the break room as I was looking at the charts and made a pot of coffee. I told him I was almost done and he told me to take my time-of course he has conveniently forgotten that as well.)
Fortunately my union rep witnessed someone having the same scanning issues as myself, but rather than give me a pat on the back for catching the errors that I did (who knows how many have been missed), all they can concentrate on are my HIPAA related issues which could lead to termination .
Although I understand the general concept of HIPAA, I am unfamiliar with any rule that prohibits a nurse from reviewing her charting. Does anyone know any information pertaining to this? I have searched several HIPAA sites regading this matter and have come up empty handed.
Thank you very much for the info. I have to say I am not very union savy and like I posted earlier, I have not gotten very much help from my union on this matter. I am not requesting my position to be reinstated, but rather my termination be reclassified as a resignation with appropriate severence pay, and a written statement stating that any allegations/concerns of wrong-doing on my part were unfounded.
I have spoken with an attorney in regards to any acts of slander which is apparently very hard to prove. Thanks for the input.
I have spoken with several attorneys regarding this situation and they have all said that until there is any action by the BRN there is nothing they can do. It is not getting my job back that I desire at this point as I have been a very active and exemplary employee with an unblemished employment history at this facility, and for them to treat me in such a manner is unacceptable to me. It bothers me however that this ex-coworker, who was not in a management position at my old facility is talking to the new facility about my situation. Orientation is starting on Monday and I have just now been notified that I may not be able to start because of this.
Unfortunately the union is a bit tied up with the impending strike and I am getting little or no help from them at this point
I am a 4th year nurse with a bit of a problem. I had a charting error which involved pulling and subsequently charting the administration of a narcotic on the wrong pt. Because of this I was terminated for "falsification of documents" and according to my then employer would be reported to the BRN due to concerns of narcotics abuse. I offered MULTIPLE times to submit to drug testing, even random if desired, but was never given the opportunity to prove my employer wrong or myself innocent. Since then I have since gained a per diem position (which required drug testing, which I obviously passed) and was offered another position at a facility which is in the process of opening soon. Now I have discovered one of my ex-coworkers who is also going to this new facility in a managerial position has discussed my situation with my soon-to-be new manager and it is questionable if I will be allowed to begin my employment with them at this point in time.
I have had no cooperation from my previous facility in grieving this event (HR will not return my union rep's calls to set up a grievance date), and as of yet I have not heard anything from the BRN after several attempts to obtain information regarding any complaints which may have been filed (it's been over 2 months now since my termination). I have been truthful in the application process to the new facility, however they have never questioned the circumstances of my leaving my old facility and since I am uncertain where I stand in my grievance, or with the BRN, I have not felt the need to volunteer information which I am uncertain of which could impeed my future employment opportunities.
Does anybody have any experience in this situation or have any advice?
I have kept thorough documentation of all events that have transpired and spoken with a couple of attorneys. Unfortunately since it is a union facility I have to "exhaust" all of my union resources first and since CA is an "at-will" state, I have no recourse for a wrongful termination suit.
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