Privacy & Confidentiality in ER

Specialties Emergency


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258 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing Advanced Practice.

I work in a 25 year old ED and it is, with the exception of the trauma room and the pelvic room, a completely open with curtains concept. Really sucks when we are busy which is ALL THE TIME (hee hee).

We were supposed to get remodeled startting this year, spent the better part of last year helping to devlop the plans. SCRAPPED!!!!!

Morale sucks. And no, an open door does not violate HIPAA, the layout of the department (like our very open one) is not considered a HIPAA violation.


ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

Half of our ER got remodeled a few years ago, and then they ran out of money or somethin' because they stopped. :rolleyes:

We had a big room that was separated by curtains, but we don't use it anymore since we inherited the open heart recovery unit that was right next to the ER - they moved up to the new specialty hospital. It has nice big rooms with TV's, which is nice.

Now they're remodeling the triage and registration area - the new triage area is too small to get a wheelchair into easily, and it puts the patient between the nurse and the door. Way to go, geniuses! :stone

nursetim, NP

493 Posts

Specializes in ER, HH, CTICU, corrections, cardiology, hospice.

Is like being sort of pregnant, there is no such thing. In our ER we had 23 private rooms :) . However we had 6-8 hall beds daily :angryfire :angryfire . Hummm Where do I start :rolleyes: ? Changing in to hospita gown, taking history, ANY procedures ( foley!!!), pt's with ETOH on board :barf02: :smiley_ab l. DC instructions for STDs or boils. I have no idea what to do about it. More floor rooms, unit rooms, ER rooms? If you build them they will come and fill them.

mommatrauma, RN

470 Posts

Specializes in ER.

trauma room 3 beds wide open, separated only by big portable lead shields...98% of our rooms have 2 walls with curtain in front...less than 5 separated just by curtains...we have 4 rooms with doors, all of which are isolation rooms w/negative pressure capability...our fast track...6 beds all with walls separating, one with a door...we have 3 is out in open...usually not used unless its crazy, and even then it will be where the ED tech is, just doing VS and getting name/birthday/CC info...nothing more...other two triage have wall separating each other, and a curtain that can pull closed behind the patient...triage nurse sits behind a wall and types on computer that you can't see unless you are sitting right in front of it due to privacy screen on sits next to the desk and is in between nurse and pts waiting for triage...there is a door behind the nurse for easy exit that is always locked but can be opened with badge swipe or pressing panic button on desk...makes for a safe way out....


52 Posts

:( Cardiac has 2 beds-about 10 feet between with curtains separating, beds 3-6 are only sep by curtains, then 2 trauma beds, set up like cardiac with curtains, ortho has 2 beds same set up, gyn and peds (beds 11 and 12) are priv, as are 13 and 14(actually holding beds, but used for anything, 15 and 16 are private. Then we have hallway beds 17-????however many stretchers or chairs we can find. There is no privacy in the ED no matter how hard you try. We are currently undergoing renovations to provide us with a couple more rooms-4 I think. Plan is to build a new ED with 2 yrs-but the best laid plans, >>>>> you know the rest. I feel bad putting pt in hallway beds, absolutely no privacy there, but what else can we do???? Seem like same problem everywhere.

z's playa

2,056 Posts

Remember guys. Just because you can't SEE the people in the next bed seperated by curtain...... does not mean they can't HEAR you. :chuckle

The stuff I've heard as a pt! :rotfl:

Specializes in NICU.
Remember guys. Just because you can't SEE the people in the next bed seperated by curtain...... does not mean they can't HEAR you. :chuckle

The stuff I've heard as a pt! :rotfl:

ITA - I was in the ER a few months ago (broke m'hand) and I was in a room with one back wall and curtains on three sides, one separating me from the guy next to me, who I believe was ETOH/homeless and sleeping it off. He was moaning rather, um, suggestively, and the nurse was hanging out in my room (I guess it wasn't that busy :uhoh21: ) made a comment to the effect of "Well, guess he's having a good time all by himself!" Of course, the nurse later asked me out on a date, so he probably wasn't too concerned about hipaa either . . . :uhoh3:

This ER also had the security guard at the front where you signed in take your c/o slip to the triage nurse . . .

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