I am curious to know what others think of this.
I took care of a patient on Unit 1 and the patient had a terminal illness. The patient and family were trying to decide whether to implement Hospice care. I transferred the patient later in the day to Unit 2 on another floor of the hospital where I work. (105 bed hospital)
The next day I came to work and was walking thought the cafeteria with some fellow co-workers and saw this patients family. It reminded me to go upstairs and see what the patient had decided about Hospice. Later on in the day I had a few minutes and went upstairs to Unit 2. I could not find the chart easily. I asked who the nurse was and spoke with her and asked her if she knew whether the patient chose to go on hospice. She said she didn't know. I asked if I could go visit and the nurse sad she didn't care. I went into the patients room, she was asleep and no visitors where there. I went back into the nurses station and the bedside nurse was still there charting, I told her the patient was sleeping and I did not wake her up. I asked if I could look at her chart and again she said she didn't care. I asked where it was, because I couldn't find it. She said she didn't know. ( I knew this bedside nurse a little better than the charge nurse, because we had worked together when I floated up there and had lunch and chatted a little bit. I considered her a friend and liked her). I stood in the middle of the nurses station, looking around and the charge nurse saw me and asked if she could help me. Know, I know the charge nurse from working at the hospital, through transferring patients to her unit. I had worked there for 1 year and floated on several occasions to her unit. We weren't friends as if eating lunch together. We were definitely not enemies and had never had any issues. It was a cordial, working relationship. We knew each others names in the hallway and said Hi with a smile in passing and thats the extend of our relationship. So when she asked if she could help me, I said yes, I'm looking for ------------ chart. She immediately saw it on a lower rack where the unit secretary was sitting and pointed it out to me. I went to the chart, opened it up to the progress notes....(HIPAA VIOLATION) and was in the chart for maybe 30 seconds, finding the progress notes and reading that they had decided on hospice. I closed the chart, said thank you and put the chart back where I found it.
The next day I was informed of my HIPAA violation and placed on leave and terminated 1 week later.
Just curious what other nurses responses are. I did the crime, I have learned from it and it was a very costly lesson. Honestly think, how many times has that happened to you in your workday......really think about it before you reply, which I hope you do, because I am just flabbergasted that the nurse would lead me to the chart, and no one EVER said,"Are you sure you want to do that? It all happened so fast......... There was no public sharing of information, there was no gossip, no conversations ever about it. Just my eyes in a chart of a patient I wasn't assigned to that day.
Thanks for any responses.....