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    clinicadmin's Avatar
    clinicadmin Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 16, 2014, 09:24 PM
    HIPAA Violation?
    If one person asks if another person is in our clinic and being treated, is it a HIPAA violation for a clinic nurse to acknowledge that the person is in fact there and being treated? The person asking was a co-worker of the person being treated but did not come in with the patient, nor did they say they were a co-worker, this is just known information by the nurse (we live in a very small town). And then the nurse offered to take the co-worker back to see the patient. Before entering the room, the nurse did knock and ask the patient if it was OK for the co-worker to come in but were the patient's rights violated by even admitting they were there and being treated?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #2

    Mar 16, 2014, 10:01 PM
    This comes under the tiniest parts of HIPAA, which is mostly about transmission of data between medical facilities. Of course the nurse should have said 'Have a seat and I will see what I am at liberty to find out,' and talked to the patient before bringing the co-worker to the back. Presuming that the nurse suspected that the situation wasn't the sort of one that a patient would want to keep secret, and that this entailed suddenly leaving work and concerned people, and that the patient did indeed allow the co-worker in, I think it's a simple matter of making sure that there is policy in place for the future.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #3

    Mar 17, 2014, 04:53 AM
    Yes it would be considered a violation. If reported, the nurse's supervisor should reprimand her at the least. If the patient complained, it could cause problems for the facility.

    Basically, if you are a caregiver and someone asks you about a patient, you should not give ANY information without checking to make sure they are authorized to receive info.

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