HIPAA is a fundamental principle for nurses to understand in protecting the privacy of our clients. We have to be aware of the ways in which information can accidentally be leaked, or visitors can present threats to the safety of our clients.
For example, I never understood how a person could just waltz in through the doors to a hospital unit, walk into a patient's room, and potentially harm the client. I know some defenses are in place: locked doors, unit clerks and other staff to ask the person who they are and why they are there, passwords to access certain rooms, etc. However, if these defenses aren't in place (which they often are not for practical/financial reasons), many patients in the hospital are easily accessible and vulnerable to such threats.
How can we reconcile not sharing information over the telephone to a stranger who claims to be a friend/family member when we will let any Tom, Dick, or Harry visit the patient in person when they're claiming the same thing?
What are your thoughts on this?