Amy’s Life in Brief

Drugged HIPAA Violation??
July 30, 2009, 6:55 pm
Filed under: colonoscopy | Tags: , , ,

So, today I had a colonoscopy. I have a pretty strong family history of colon polyps (my brother is 33 and he’s already had some removed!) and a generally angry, disgruntled lower intestine. Don’t worry I won’t get into too much detail on that, other than I’ve had many years of anger directed at me by lower intestine. Sometimes there’s a truce, but other times…

So, I had to have a colonoscopy to make sure all is OK. The jury is still out on that. No polyps, thankfully. But, they’re checking for microcytic colitis and celiac disease. So, they took some biopsy samples and I have to have some blood drawn. This doctor was a new gastroenterologist for me. I think I’ll have another post about how I’m a little ticked that the other GI doc I saw 9 years ago for a colonoscopy didn’t check for these conditions…but back to the original topic of this post.

So, they give you some really nice drugs…Propofol to be exact. Fortunately, I didn’t have a reaction like Michael Jackson apparently did. At any rate, I was asleep quickly and wasn’t even aware of what was going during it. However, the first thing I remember, as I was waking up, was the nurses laughing and saying, “You’re at the endoscopy center. You’re not at work, although you must have been dreaming about it.”

I didn’t even ask what I was talking about as I woke up, but hopefully didn’t say anything to crazy about a patient or my co-workers! Is it a HIPAA violation if you’re intoxicated or incapacitated by a drug?


HIPAA (or a source of fear in the workplace)
August 22, 2008, 1:17 am
Filed under: job, patient privacy, social work, worries | Tags: , ,

So, one of the biggest thing going on at work right now is a crack down on HIPAA violations. I think on a whole HIPAA is a good thing, but it seems that there are many interpretations of it. Essentially, what we’ve been told is that they will be doing audits of our computer usage and if it is determined that we accessed patient information inappropriately, we will be fired. The termination will be immediate and we will not be given an opportunity to explain. In fact we will not even be told which case it was we accessed because that in itself would be a HIPAA violation.

So now I am having high anxiety about all of this. When I was being trained on the computer system, we were asked to look at a couple patient records. The trainer asked, “Does anyone know this person?” We didn’t and then she had us go through all of the aspects of the system. So, now I’m thinking, “Oh my god! What if my audit shows that case? I’m going to get fired because my trainer was an idiot and I didn’t know any better??”

And the other issue I have with all of this is that the whole privacy thing in our hospital seems to be kind of a joke. They are acting as if they are really cracking down, yet most of the rooms are not private. So, often we and other medical staff are talking to patients about their personal, private issues while their roommate listens (potentially).

Then, when a VIP person is a patient, everyone knows because a particular person from the administration office will be seen up on the floor with a large bouquet of flowers. My thought is always, “How do they know that the VIP is in the hospital?” I doubt that they called the president of the hospital after they called 911 or whatever. So, obviously I think there are some HIPAA violations there.

So, that’s my source of anxiety…that I’m going to get terminated for something that will look HORRIBLE on my job record. At least when I worked for the state, we had a form if we accidently accessed a case that we shouldn’t have, accidently. I doubt that they would offer that here. There would probably be a liability and they don’t want a record of it.

Aagh! HIPAA!