HIPAA

Jondruby

The PLS of BLS.
49
6
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Hey guys got a question about HIPAA stuff, I know/understand EMS workers, Nureses, Dr.'s ect talk about their work, it seems kinda natural. I was discussing HIPAA with some of my co-workers and they said technically we are not suppose to talk about anything about our calls, I obviously do not disclose locations, PT names ect. My question is how much can we talk about our jobs? I read some of these posts on "Did that really happen" and stuff and if what Ive been told is true, isnt that a vilolation? Im not trying to be a jerk, just asking.
 

OnceAnEMT

Forum Asst. Chief
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This question has been brought up a few times before. Identifying information is needed to make a case.

A practical example of this is an EMS report to the ED. Its on FCC regulated, public comms. "Hospital Name, Medic #, Inbound code 1 with a 56 y/o male Bravo category patient who tripped in the garden and has multiple booboos to his legs, otherwise WNL and stable. See you in 5." How is this different than me telling you a war story about a car accident, as long as I am not providing identifying information?

Another example. In the ED (mine is technically private, but the public downtown has the same thing) we have the classic patient status board loaded with colors and acrynoms. Included on this are the first 3 letters of the first name and the last name, age, sex, and c/c. No HIPAA Hippo talking to us.

TL;DR: Just don't identify people in the story and you're golden.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
12,681
196
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On one hand, just don't mention names. On the other hand, I'm not sure anyone has ever been charged with a HIPAA violation for mentioning that they transported Mr Frequent Flier (who is well known to the service) again yesterday. Technically it's a violation, but it occurs all the time, everyplace.
 
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Jondruby

Jondruby

The PLS of BLS.
49
6
8
Yeah, understandable. Ive never met an EMT whose like "If I told ya I'd have to kill you." The girls on my home hospital floor were just like, Technically-you shouldn't say anything to anybody who is not directly involved in patient care. Practically- be carefuly what you say and who you say it around. Does that kinda sum it up?
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
1,312
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Simply put, you can't say anything that would have an unrelated party be able to figure out who was involved. E.g. Name, birthdate, address, clearly identifiable information... The basic details can be repeated anecdotally: 25yo male suffering from ABC with a hx of XYZ. Tx included 123...
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
12,681
196
63
The basic details can be repeated anecdotally: 25yo male suffering from ABC with a hx of XYZ. Tx included 123...


Oh, you mean John Doe? Yea, I transported him last week... how's he doing?
 

joshrunkle35

EMT-P/RN
583
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1) You can discuss any detail with anyone who provided care during the incident for follow up/education, but not gossip. So, you could call and ask a doctor or nurse, "How is xyz doing?" If it's because you want to learn about your treatment and if you did anything right/wrong, could do something better, want to see other information to educate yourself. You can't call just to find out how they are because they go to your church and you want to let people know how they're doing.

2) You can provide details of a story as long as no identifying information is revealed. For example, if you said, "Last month I had a lady who wouldn't stop giggling", that's a lot different than if you said, "Tuesday I picked up a 63 yr old lady who lives in that weird house on the corner of Tuberculosis Rd and Influenza Ln. She wouldn't stop giggling".

Talk freely for the purpose of medical-related follow up. Don't give anyone else any identifying information.

This is usually worst when someone gets to the waiting room and says, "I think my son just got here, he's blond and has a blue shirt on". Well, frankly, giving any info would be violating Hipaa. You need to say, "I'm sure someone at this information desk can help you, let me show you the way there", rather than just saying, "Yep, we brought him in, he'll be ok".
 
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