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Old 04-14-2018, 02:49 PM
 
9,337 posts, read 14,541,507 times
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This might seem petty, but it annoyed me and I wonder if its a violation of HIPPA.


On a recent doctor's visit, when the "nurse" called me back, she asked, right there in the waiting area, before we even got back to the patient area "Do you know how much you weigh"? Ok, I'm not overweight and I have no problem with "fat-shaming", but I felt the question itself and the manner of asking were both inappropriate.


My reply was "That's what you're going to tell me". They are supposed to take your vitals including weight, at each visit. A change in weight could be of significance, and the patient might not even be aware of it, like when I lost 25 pounds in 6 weeks, due to undetected diabetes.


She was obviously trying to save herself some time, but that's not my concern. She's getting paid to do her job, not cut corners. However, I felt it inappropriate to ask personal information in the waiting room, right in front of other patients. This isn't a Weight Watchers meeting Maybe I don't want my weight broadcast all over the place---and it was a large waiting room, filled with a lot of people. I walk slow, and she screamed the question at me from almost across the room, so it was not something done discreetly. Besides, like I said, the weight should be taken at each visit, not just something from memory that could be inaccurate.


So, this office usually sends out a survey after each visit. I did make sure to get the "nurse" name. She also had a huffy attitude, like we were somehow inconveniencing her. her whole attitude was "hurry up" although we had been sitting there for hours, in an overbooked office, and an orthopedic office at that. Most of the patients, by the very nature of their aliment, don't move particularly fast, nor are their slow movements responsible for the backlog of patients.


So, I am debating whether to include this on the patient survey. Its supposed to be anonymous, but they ask for your birthdate, and date of visit, not too hard to match up! On the one hand, I want to express my dissatisfaction, on the other hand, I don't want to create ill will with a doctor I depend on.


Thoughts?
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:58 PM
 
Location: on the wind
2,871 posts, read 1,027,389 times
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https://www.beckershospitalreview.co...ompliance.html

The nurse didn't identify you by name and then disclose your information to anyone else. I agree, she was insensitive just broadcasting the question to the waiting room though you didn't have to broadcast the answer.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:13 PM
 
6,992 posts, read 5,027,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
https://www.beckershospitalreview.co...ompliance.html

The nurse didn't identify you by name and then disclose your information to anyone else. I agree, she was insensitive just broadcasting the question to the waiting room though you didn't have to broadcast the answer.
BINGO!! Not a HIPPA Violation, just a lazy and dumb employee
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:14 PM
 
9,337 posts, read 14,541,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
https://www.beckershospitalreview.co...ompliance.html

The nurse didn't identify you by name and then disclose your information to anyone else. I agree, she was insensitive just broadcasting the question to the waiting room though you didn't have to broadcast the answer.


Actually, she did identify me by name, she called my name (first and last), to call me back, then asked me to disclose my information. As I said, I did NOT "broadcast my information" in reply. I said that was something for her to determine. I guess I just found her whole attitude irritating, especially the way she expected me to hurry up as she took off, walking much faster than I could follow. She turned down a hallway and I didn't see which way she had turned, so I just waited for her to come back, which she did, with no apology, just an annoyed attitude. Its stuff like this that gets the patient worked up before they even see the doctor.

Last edited by MaryleeII; 04-14-2018 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Boonies
1,691 posts, read 2,500,587 times
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In our office when you are called from the waiting room, we only use the first name. Of course, sometimes, there may be two Michael's stand up at the same time!

You are right, the nurse or provider should never take your word for how much you weigh, although I would like to fudge mine at times. Depending on how much weight gain or loss could indicate a health issue.

I've been in many waiting rooms, reception areas despite closed doors or closed windows, you can still hear the employees talking and in some cases, you can also hear the physician talking to the patient in the exam room beside you.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:24 PM
 
Location: on the wind
2,871 posts, read 1,027,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Actually, she did identify me by name, she called my name (first and last), to call me back, then asked me to disclose my information. As I said, I did NOT "broadcast my information" in reply. I said that something for her to determine. I guess I just found her whole attitude irritating, especially the way she expected me to hurry up as she took off, walking much faster than I could follow. She turned down a hallway and I didn't see which way she had turned, so I just waited for her to come back, which she did, with no apology, just an annoyed attitude. Its stuff like this that gets the patient worked up before they even see the doctor.
I agree...she was irritating and dismissive. It was worth your comment.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
1,835 posts, read 591,338 times
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First of all, HIPPA laws are the silliest laws in the history of human jurisprudence.

A professional sports team that places a player on the disabled list due to an injury, is technically in violation of the HIPPA law if they publicly distribute their team active roster with the player asterisked as DL'ed.

I was watching a ballgame today, saw the runner coillide with the first baseman reaching for an off-target throw, and was painfully holding his wrist. Announcer said "looks like he jammed his wrist" HIPPA violation.

Now for the OP. Any Hippa violation there is trivial, in proportion to the bedside manner violation. But we see no need to legislate bedside manner. Having said that, it could be that the nurse was in a hurry to catch up with the waiting room schedule, so started the questioning prematurely. And the intent may not have been a request to reveal the patients weight at that time and place, but to ask if the patient had been, as the doctor had requested, to keep track of her weight gain or loss.

Often-times, when all the deatails are brought to light, people are not as evil and malevolent as they might have first appeared. And whether someone breaks the "law" is much, much less important than whether they violate common civil courtesy and decency..
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
20,384 posts, read 24,925,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
First of all, HIPPA laws are the silliest laws in the history of human jurisprudence.

A professional sports team that places a player on the disabled list due to an injury, is technically in violation of the HIPPA law if they publicly distribute their team active roster with the player asterisked as DL'ed.

I was watching a ballgame today, saw the runner coillide with the first baseman reaching for an off-target throw, and was painfully holding his wrist. Announcer said "looks like he jammed his wrist" HIPPA violation.

Now for the OP. Any Hippa violation there is trivial, in proportion to the bedside manner violation. But we see no need to legislate bedside manner. Having said that, it could be that the nurse was in a hurry to catch up with the waiting room schedule, so started the questioning prematurely. And the intent may not have been a request to reveal the patients weight at that time and place, but to ask if the patient had been, as the doctor had requested, to keep track of her weight gain or loss.

Often-times, when all the deatails are brought to light, people are not as evil and malevolent as they might have first appeared. And whether someone breaks the "law" is much, much less important than whether they violate common civil courtesy and decency..
HIPAA does not apply to sports teams.

"The Privacy Rule, as well as all the Administrative Simplification rules, apply to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and to any health care provider who transmits health information in electronic form in connection with transactions for which the Secretary of HHS has adopted standards under HIPAA (the “covered entities”)."

For the OP:

Asking if you know how much you weigh is not a HIPAA violation because it does not reveal any medical information about you. Announcing your actual weight to the people in the waiting room would be.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:02 PM
 
4,713 posts, read 2,907,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
First of all, HIPPA laws are the silliest laws in the history of human jurisprudence.

A professional sports team that places a player on the disabled list due to an injury, is technically in violation of the HIPPA law if they publicly distribute their team active roster with the player asterisked as DL'ed.

I was watching a ballgame today, saw the runner coillide with the first baseman reaching for an off-target throw, and was painfully holding his wrist. Announcer said "looks like he jammed his wrist" HIPPA violation.

Now for the OP. Any Hippa violation there is trivial, in proportion to the bedside manner violation. But we see no need to legislate bedside manner. Having said that, it could be that the nurse was in a hurry to catch up with the waiting room schedule, so started the questioning prematurely. And the intent may not have been a request to reveal the patients weight at that time and place, but to ask if the patient had been, as the doctor had requested, to keep track of her weight gain or loss.

Often-times, when all the deatails are brought to light, people are not as evil and malevolent as they might have first appeared. And whether someone breaks the "law" is much, much less important than whether they violate common civil courtesy and decency..
Why do you feel the need to devalue the experiences of other people? It's not like this is the first time.

HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is far from silly. We are all entitled to privacy when it comes to our medical records which should not only be confidential but stored securely.

That you don't see the value in it is irrelevant.

HIPAA violation or not, the nurse was out of bounds and should be counseled by an administrator.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
1,835 posts, read 591,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Why do you feel the need to devalue the experiences of other people? It's not like this is the first time.

HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is far from silly. We are all entitled to privacy when it comes to our medical records which should not only be confidential but stored securely.

That you don't see the value in it is irrelevant.

HIPAA violation or not, the nurse was out of bounds and should be counseled by an administrator.
I did not devalue anything. The OP described a situation that was not, in my opinion, a Hipaa violation. Even if it were a Hipaa violation, it is not flagrant, and was not the kind of situation that Hipaa was intended to address. That is my opinion.

There was a time in America (which I can remember) when people could be trusted with confidential information. But as more and more industries discovered that they could make more and more money by betraying those confidences, it became necessary to enact legislation enforcing Hipaa, banking secrecy, credit reporting, landlord tenancy, a whole host of things, to protect people from predatory disclosures that bordered on industrial blackmail.. Not to protect people from casual conversations in lobbies about their weight, but to keep huge corporations from penalizing people based on their private affairs. That's why I described the OP's scenario as trivial.
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