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Posted: 2/23/2006 2:03:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2006 2:03:56 PM EDT by gaspasser]
Today I went on a medical in which an old woman fell in the street and was bleeding from the head. When I got there two bystanders were doing CPR and she was in full arrest. We later found she'd had a big MI. I knew one of the two was a long time nurse and was doing well so I let her do her thing and coordinated rescue and ambulance and got background from witnesses as to what happened before she went down. Things got hectic and I only had a short time to talk to a woman who was my best witness. She was pretty upset watching them work the code (which can look pretty brutal to a 1st timer) and I felt bad for her. I had to leave the woman to find relatives and get info to the ER.
I called the woman later and relayed that they'd brought the lady back and airlifted her to a trauma center. She was very happy and said she'd tried to call the ER but they wouldn't tell her how the woman was doing. A co-worker tells me I might have violated HIPPA by releasing this info, but as far as I'm concerned, it's important to put someone's mind at ease who would otherwise sit up tonight bothered by this. Am I in the wrong here?
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 2:08:23 PM EDT
You released confidential medical information to a person who was not authorized to receive that information. According to the JCOAHO review the girlfriend's hospital just went through, it's a HIPAA violation. You might be morally correct, but you violated the regs.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 2:36:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DavidC:
You released confidential medical information to a person who was not authorized to receive that information. According to the JCOAHO review the girlfriend's hospital just went through, it's a HIPAA violation. You might be morally correct, but you violated the regs.



I dont get that. I didn't tell her name, address, family info, just that she was alive and transferred out. I hear that and more on the news every day concerning accident and crime victims.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 4:04:58 PM EDT
Unless you gave specific information out such as Jane Doe was transported ....etc it is NOT a violation.
We just went throught that hear and that is how it was played.out. In rescent months hippa has been much modified. No longer does it protect peeps who are being investigated for criminal activity, have warrants or are being served protective orders. Beleive me I was hot when a nurse set there and delayed us claiming Hippa while a subject with 2 felony warrants walked away. It took us 3 more months th track him down. Anoother officer had them hide a rape suspect in the ER telling them Hippa. They cleaned him up allowed him to shower. Allowed family members to bring him clothes and remove the ones with blood on them...the whole time his victim was in another part of the hospital.
Things like that is what got it modified.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 5:09:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspasser:

Originally Posted By DavidC:
You released confidential medical information to a person who was not authorized to receive that information. According to the JCOAHO review the girlfriend's hospital just went through, it's a HIPAA violation. You might be morally correct, but you violated the regs.



I dont get that. I didn't tell her name, address, family info, just that she was alive and transferred out. I hear that and more on the news every day concerning accident and crime victims.



I didn't realize that it was a general "the person is alive and well" kind of thing. In that case you did not commit a HIPAA violation. Because you said that the woman called the hospital I erroneously presumed that she knew the person by name.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 7:14:53 PM EDT
We were told you could tell (callers to the FD) that Person X was transported to "X" hospital, but you couldn't say what for, or their status.

HIPPAA is a joke anyway.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:13:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DavidC:

Originally Posted By gaspasser:

Originally Posted By DavidC:
You released confidential medical information to a person who was not authorized to receive that information. According to the JCOAHO review the girlfriend's hospital just went through, it's a HIPAA violation. You might be morally correct, but you violated the regs.



I dont get that. I didn't tell her name, address, family info, just that she was alive and transferred out. I hear that and more on the news every day concerning accident and crime victims.



I didn't realize that it was a general "the person is alive and well" kind of thing. In that case you did not commit a HIPAA violation. Because you said that the woman called the hospital I erroneously presumed that she knew the person by name.



Small town ER...she just asked about the woman who was brought in at x time.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:41:04 AM EDT
Read the HIPAA rule/reg whatever.......it says something to the effect that the rule only applys to applicable agencies or some other wording, but specifies health care providers, hospitals, etc.

Actually, I found it. The official wording is "Covered Entity." Look it up. Law Enforcement does not qualify as a "covered entity" from what my city's attorney says. In fact, our agency is warning units to "Use Universal Precautions" again on the air because said Attorney has given us written documentation specifically saying that its not forbidden.

(I'm not sure how I feel about that....but I don't believe LE qualifies as a "covered Entity" as its defined in HIPAA"

Link Posted: 2/25/2006 3:28:22 PM EDT
I'm still surprised that YOU knew the patient's condition because of HIPPAA. I've seen hospitals refuse to give info to us a couple of times. I tell them that I need to know if I'm investigating a homicide or an assault. They don't give a damn.
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