Originally posted by babies
Just an FYI. If you keep patient on your personal PDA it could violating HIPAA laws as well as could be used in a malpractice suit. Lawyers hav begun to ask about papertowels, scrubs etc. used to make notes on during an emergency. Learned this from experience. Babies
Babies makes an excellent point about patient health information (PHI) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Understanding and complying with this federal mandate affects nursing and nursing informatics practice. Everyone who deals with identifiable patient information needs to be aware of the implications as HIPAA directs how we handle patient information written, verbal and electronic. Everyone who works in healthcare has a responsibility to keep patient information confidential.
In the case of such PHI stored on a PDA a responsible clinician needs to ask themselves: Is the information protected and secure? If you lose the device will that private pt info (identifiable pt. information includes: the patient's name, diagnosis, lab tests, vital signs, ss #, address, etc.,) be accessible to someone who is not involved in that patient's care and therefore has no right to view such information?
There are penalties for failure to meet the privacy regulations and for inappropriately disclosing or receiving patient health information. Penalties can be either criminal or civil and can result in monetary fines, imprisonment, or both. Monetary penalties range from $100 to $100,000 depending upon severity. Imprisonment can be for up to 10 years depending on severity. Both institutions and individuals can be held liable for breaches in patient privacy and confidentiality, as the penalties do not just apply to organizations. HIPAA compliance requires the use of appropriate technology, education, changes in previous practice patterns and implementation of organizational policies and procedures.
3 articles that cover the use of PDAs and HIPAA--