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  • HIPAA Nonsense

    Some time ago we were doing some staff inservices (OSHA and whatnot). My office manager had a HIPAA compliance person come in to talk to us.

    This lady comes in and gives us a whole rundown on super strict privacy measures:

    1. We have to get rid of a sign in sheet because patients could read other patients names
    2. No calling patients by name in the waiting room
    3. Turn the charts around in the chart rack on exam room doors so patients can’t see other patients names on the charts as they pass by in the hall
    Etc.

    If we don’t do all of this stuff we could face huge fines etc.

    After about a week of this nonsense (and I’m getting annoyed that I cannot identify roomed patients because their charts are backwards), I walk by my dentist’s office and I can see all of his patients being treated through the clear glass windows of his office! So a physician can’t let a name be read off a chart but dentists can practice with their patients in full view of the public?

    I’m sharing this story with a military doc friend of mine and he tells me that their derm department rooms are essentially “bays” with walls that don’t go clear to the ceiling. Patients can hear other patients being evaluated and procedures being done. Same in the ER at the nearest hospital. Same in the preop and postop area of the ASC where I work (just curtains between the patients).

    Needless to say, the next day I shut all that nonsense down. Yes we take measures to protect patient privacy but I will not be bullied into stupid policies that are selectively and inconsistently enforced. HIPAA hysteria and bullying needs to stop.

  • #2
    I've always been a little confused by the intersection of HIPAA and emergency medicine.

    You go to these training modules where you're told not even to briefly discuss a case in the elevator and then... well, have you ever been in an ED in NYC?

    I'm not saying pt privacy isn't really important, just that it seems like kind of disposable when it's difficult to maintain.

    Comment


    • #3



      So a physician can’t let a name be read off a chart but dentists can practice with their patients in full view of the public?
      Click to expand...


      Dentists are subject to HIPAA and those same consultants as well.  Use common sense.  The law was designed to keep you from selling your patient rolls to companies.

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      • #4


        2. No calling patients by name in the waiting room
        Click to expand...


        What are yous supposed to do?  Point and say "Hey you"

         

        It can get ridiculous real quick.  Especially because the vast majority of people who create and enforce these rules never worked in any patient care setting.

         

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        • #5
          It's all just a game. A box to check and move on

          Comment


          • #6
            Another quick story. Not long ago I had a HIPAA compliance officer from a hospital come in as a patient. I did not see this happen because it was in the reception area but when she was being checked in she leaned forward on the reception counter lifting her feet off the floor and leaned way into my receptionist space. Then she looked sideways at the computer screen and declared “I can see patient information!”

            I heard about this after I had seen her in an exam room. She never mentioned anything to me. But it was a bureaucrat throwing her weight around in an unreasonable manner.

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            • #7
              The most important thing in medicine is correct patient. IMO all HIPAA has done has led to more identity errors.  "Hiding" patients in the hospital only hurts the patient.  Once upon a time the patient had their name outside the door, at the foot of the bed, on the wall above the bed, along with on the chart and on the clerk board.  I've seen and witnessed more mishaps because no one knows who really is in room 510, particularly when the patients cut their annoying wrist bands off......

              While the intent of HIPAA makes sense, it has clearly been misinterpreted to the point of ridiculous.....

              Next thing is patients in waiting rooms will sit with bags on their heads so no one can see each other......

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              • #8





                2. No calling patients by name in the waiting room 
                Click to expand…


                What are yous supposed to do?  Point and say “Hey you”

                 

                It can get ridiculous real quick.  Especially because the vast majority of people who create and enforce these rules never worked in any patient care setting.

                 
                Click to expand...


                give everyone restaurant style pagers of course

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is very interesting. I've been wondering for a long time how private a doctor's office is when I sign a list, have my name called out, etc. One doctor's office I have been to actually leaves the door of the patient waiting room open until the doctor comes in and closes it behind him.

                  It all seems pretty silly to me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    These are the things where you just nod your head but never actually change anything.

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      What are yous supposed to do? Point and say “Hey you”
                      Click to expand...


                      Hey you, out there in the cold
                      Getting lonely, getting old

                      Can you feel me?..............

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We don’t need no education...

                        Comment


                        • #13




                          Can you feel me?…………..
                          Click to expand...


                          After the HIPAA training is the sexual harassment training.  :P

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            HIPAA is a joke.  It's a lawyers/bureaucrat's dream.  It's also exploited by outfits that will try to scare you into doing x y or z to be compliant.  It just so happens those companies will help you address those (mostly made-up) issues for a fee.  There is too much room for interpretation in the HIPAA law.  This leads to little uniformity and lots of room for a government bureaucrat to make your life miserable.  The fines were also increased bigly when Obamacare was passed.  As a small business owner the heavy hand of the federal government is something that pushes me toward FIRE.  It's really ridiculous.

                            Comment


                            • #15





                              Can you feel me?………….. 
                              Click to expand…


                              After the HIPPA training is the sexual harassment training.  ?
                              Click to expand...


                              HIPAA not HIPPA

                              Comment

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