HIPAA

You can ignore this rant...

So this week has been tough. I arrived at work & was assigned to trauma on Tuesday, April 18th. When I got to trauma, I noticed that the portion where we place dead bodies was occupied. Of course, I was curious but it’s a HIPAA violation to look to see who the patient was. 

So, I ignored it and I had a trauma case to do. It was a medically necessary procedure, the patient just came in from an MVA & he was intubated. We did a left orbital repair & ORIF of his left distal radius. In the middle of the case, my surgical tech was relieved by another one of our co-workers. Our co-worker walked into the room and she came up to me. She said our anesthesiologist back at the main OR came into the office & told everyone that our head plastic surgeon just died from an accident this morning while riding his bike & he was sent to our hospital where he succumbed to his injuries…

So you know where I’m heading with this…


It was so sad because I actually saw his accident in the news that morning, but his identity wasn’t released. And, I came into the realization that the body in our trauma bay was his. 

Well…R.I.P. TO OUR PLASTIC SURGEON. His death was horrible. His head was crushed because he lost control of his bike & hit a large tour bus. I feel horrible for his family, since his wife is battling stage 4 colon cancer & they have two young teenagers. Just goes to show how short life is and how precious time is. I’m going through my own issues with this. I’ve learned to really appreciate everyone in my life.

talesfromcallcenters: I'm pretty sure that wasn't a violation of any privacy laws

I work at a call center that helps retirees of various companies find health coverage, so I work with a lot of health and personal information protection laws (such as HIPAA). Amongst many things we have to do to protect information is make sure we don’t reveal any info until we’ve confirmed that we’re talking to an authorized individual.

Queue the story that just happened to me (only quirky, nothing bad). M=Me | C=Caller


M: opening speal/greeting May I have your first and last name please?

C: gives generic first name and highly unique last name

M: Excellent, thank you. How may I assist you today?

C: My husband is retiring from <company> and we want to know how much they are contributing for his coverage.

M: Okay ma'am, let me see if I can find a profile and if we can confirm that inputs name into system and only one result pops up looks at result with date of birth January 01, 0001

M: Ma'am, would you spell your last name out for me? I want to make sure I can find the right profile to answer your question.

C: Sure. spells out name that perfectly matches what I just put in

I double take

M: Hmm… okay, I don’t think we have a proper profile for you yet, because according to this you’re over two thousand years old (at this I heard my coworker laugh next to me, caller did not sound even close to 5% of that). Let me look at some of the generic info I have from <company> and see if there’s anything I can speak on….


I then proceed to explain that until we receive the info from the company, we can’t confirm what they’re each eligible for. Because of some circumstances she mentioned for her husband, I explained there’s a chance we’ll have to submit a ticket to confirm with the company that whatever amount they tell us is correct according to his situation.

She has no issue with this, and is thankful I answered as completely as I could based off the available information.

I end the call then turn to my coworker: I know I didn’t fully secure the call (there were additional security questions I’m supposed to ask before giving out personal info such as age), but I’m pretty sure revealing that our system said she was over 2,000 years old wasn’t a HIPAA violation.

By: Sindrosan

HIPAA: Privacy settings for your health records   

Privacy settings – they’re not just for Facebook. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was created in 1996 to help people protect the confidentiality and security of their health care information.  Read on and become a more informed patient.

anonymous asked:

Hey wayfaring, I'm a teenager and wondering if it's okay to disclose to my doctor that I drink and smoke occasionally. Is there any chance that I would get in trouble with the law? Or any chance that my medical records could be accessed by future employers including the govt? Or that my parents would be notified?

Holy Big Brother Batman! Paranoid, are we?

It’s totally okay to share that stuff with your doctor. Teenagers tell me that kind of stuff all the time. Your medical information is private, and you should share it so your doctor can take the best care of you they can. The government doesn’t get your medical records, nor do future employers (not without your permission or a court order, that is). Now if you’re a minor, it’s possible that your parents may be notified if there is concern for your safety. But that’s something you need to talk to your personal doctor about one-on-one first. 

There are 3 Acts involved in “Client Rights” that the nurse needs to know. They are as followed:

1- Patient Self Determination Act: Requires that upon admission to the hospital, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies - the patient must be informed that they have the right to accept or refuse medical care.

2- HIPAA: This Act protects personal client information, such as the client’s name, social security number, date of birth, and information about diagnosis and treatment. It also provides that such information ONLY BE SHARED with individuals directly involved in the client’s care, the payment of care, and management of the client’s care.

3- Patients’ Bill of Rights: This is a statement about client’s rights AND responsibilities. It covers the following areas:

- The client has the right to accurate information about his care. And the right to EASILY understand information about his care.

- He has the right to choose healthcare providers that provide HIGH-QUALITY care. So, if he doesn’t feel comfortable with them, he has the right to say no to the care they provide.

- He has the right to emergency services whenever he needs them, regardless if he can or can’t afford to pay for it.

- He has the right to know about treatment options and take part in deciding what’s best for him. Parents, guardians, friends, and significant others can represent the client if he can’t make his own decisions.

- He has the right to talk privately to his healthcare provider and have his health information protected. This also includes the right to read his medical records and make a copy of it.

- He has the responsibility to provide information about medications and past illnesses. 

- He has the right to informed consent.

Does my blog make my white coat look dirty?

I come across many med student/MD blogs. I know doctors are only human and need to vent or share their experiences too. Still, do you ever wonder if these blogs may affect the way patients view and trust doctors? -secondworldwarineurope

Well so far I haven’t had a patient ask me if I was “one of those blogger doctors,” so I can’t be entirely sure, but yeah, it probably does affect some people. You gotta remember though–most patients (mine at least) aren’t trolling the medblr tag on Tumblr to see if their doctor wrote something about them.

I can’t say that our blogs contribute to people’s perceptions of doctors any more than medical tv shows and tv docs like Dr. Oz do. I feel like those things give us just as bad reps as our blogs potentially could. My hope for these blogs is that they would help patients to see doctors as humans. For many years, doctors were seen by many as demi-gods, and were held to impossibly high standards.

To some degree, we still are. Some docs like to be seen that way. Personally, I don’t want my patients thinking I’m better than them in any way, because guess what? I’m not.

Medicine is SUCH a stressful career, and if patients hold us to a standard of perfection, the burden will become unbearable. But if our patients realize through our blogs that we are imperfect, stressed out, insecure, caffeine-addicted, relationship-challenged, quirky, but yes, very smart, people, then we have some hope of living somewhat normal, unburdened lives. 

And you’re right, docs do need a place to vent. Doctors have been writers for hundreds of years, and they were being careful about what they wrote long before the institution of HIPAA. Pastors write about congregants they’ve helped, lawyers write novels based on interesting cases, and cops shows and books are a dime a dozen, but for some reason the ethics of doctors writing about their day at work is always in question.  

I’m always worried that my blog will be found by my residency program or by my hospital. Honestly, I’m not nearly as careful with my anonymity as I should be. It’s very difficult to write about the things you really want to write about and still be completely anonymous. But my hope is that one day, we won’t have to hide. 

chordae-tendinae21-blog  asked:

Hi!

In regards to your HIPAA posts, I think a lot of people are overly paranoid over violating HIPAA confidentiality and is a result from the harshness of HIPAA.

I was assigned in the ED today and approached the nurse facilitator and asked which unit the patient in C4 was going and she said,

"Ehh.. that's kind of a HIPAA violation"

So, apparently, asking where a patient is or which unit a patient is in, is a HIPAA violation now? :/

I think that’s one of the reasons why the staff are very careful nowadays. In my opinion, it’s not about asking which unit the patient is that makes it a violation, but it’s the information the staff gives you, especially that you are not in any way related to the patient. They are just playing it safe not to give any kind of information. We all know that a single mistake or any information being mentioned, is a crime and or punishable by law. 

But I think that different hospitals are interpreting the regulations differently.