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Sharing patient information that they ask you to. :)

HIPAA   (2,623 Views 7 Comments)
by ~PedsRN~ ~PedsRN~ (Member)

~PedsRN~ has 4 years experience and works as a Pediatric Nurse.

9,994 Visitors; 826 Posts

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I am a pediatric nurse and have the privilege to care for so many outstanding young men and women every day. I love my teenagers! We have some kiddos that due to their illness stay with us for weeks and even months at a time. Of course you can imagine that these kids are special to the staff. :)

My question is this.... I take care of one young patient who is actively fundraising to support research for his disease. His enthusiasm is inspiring! He has given out the link to his fundraising site online to the hospital staff (all of us, doctors and nurses and child life, Xray, and dietary... you get the point... LOL) and has asked us all to share it with our friends and family to help in his fundraising efforts.

So my question is this:

Is sharing the website link with others a HIPAA violation?

He is a minor, and the link directly speaks of his disease (duh, it's a fundraising site! lol) By sharing it, it will be obvious that he is one of my patients. It also contains his first and last name, etc.

It's a slippery slope for me! I would love to help him but I'm stuck on this.

Advice?

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CT Pixie has 10 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

35,397 Visitors; 3,723 Posts

I would err on the side of caution since he's a minor. Can you ask his parent(s)/guardian(s) if its ok for you to do so? Even with their permission verbally I would probably want something in writing that says they are allowing this. But that's just me and my paranoia ;)

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~PedsRN~ has 4 years experience and works as a Pediatric Nurse.

9,994 Visitors; 826 Posts

His guardian is pretty much unavailable to staff. :sour:

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Daisy_08 has 5 years experience and works as a RN.

12,965 Visitors; 597 Posts

I like to say no, but it's better to be safe. Then again If he is 16 or older, he can make his own medical choices. Can you ask a manager?

His guardian is pretty much unavailable to staff. :sour:
that's sad :)

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~PedsRN~ has 4 years experience and works as a Pediatric Nurse.

9,994 Visitors; 826 Posts

Not over 16 yet. :(

I can definitely ask my manager about it.

I really don't think I'm comfortable with sharing it, even though I wish I could. :( I will continue doing what I am doing, which is doing my own fundraising for the same cause. :)

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Orca has 22 years experience and works as a Corrections RN/DON.

1 Follower; 25,624 Visitors; 1,745 Posts

I'm with those who would err on the side of caution. Him being a minor complicates things, and without parental consent I would be really reluctant. There are ways he can publicize his cause on his own, like Facebook or MySpace.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience and works as a Critical Care.

63,445 Visitors; 6,013 Posts

The main thing to remember is that in most instance where Nurses get in trouble, it's not due to a HIPAA violation so much as an institutional privacy policy, which are usually much more rigid. Even if you followed HIPAA guidelines for a release of info, hospitals/facilities will still fire you for something that can just be perceived as slightly questionable, so no, I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.

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