Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday rounds

Al: "Telemetry desk, this is Al."

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Dr. Grumpy. Did Mrs. Stroke, in room 843, do anything funny on the cardiac monitor overnight?"

Al: "Excuse me? Are you a family member of the patient?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No, I'm her attending physician, and I was wondering if she had any more cardiac arrythmias."

Al: "I can't tell you that. We have privacy laws."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm her freaking doctor! You have the phone ID right there! You can see I'm calling from the 8th floor nurses station!"

Al: "Look, whoever you are, I just started here..."

Dr. Grumpy: "No kidding."

Al: "...and in school we learned about the importance of patient privacy laws and... HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!!"

(long pause, whispers at the other end)

(new voice comes on the line) "This is Cheryl, the telemetry supervisor."

Dr. Grumpy: "Oh, thank God. It's Grumpy."

Cheryl: "I'm terribly sorry. You know how the new ones are. Her cardiac telemetry was normal."

Dr. Grumpy: "Thank you for getting on the phone."

Cheryl: "Anytime."

20 comments:

ER's Mom said...

Facepalm times a million.

I feel your pain.

Amanda said...

at least he learned something in school.

lbparker said...

Privacy laws, check.

Observation of details, FAIL!

my wv= patica--what his supervisor did to his head when she took the phone?

vicki said...

thank you sir, for reminding me every day why -- unlike my poor disappointed-in-me father -- i didn't choose medical school.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad the young man has his priorities in order. You know, I'm sure if you had asked your patient she would have told you that she would much prefer to have her privacy guarded then to have her doctor informed of something that could kill her. I mean, really.

Anonymous said...

Given this generations abyssmal consideration of privacy issues (just look at all the personal information people post on facebook - hello? Ever heard of identity theft?) in some ways its reassuring this worker considered privacy implications. Given you were calling from the nursing station, there was a severe lack of common sense, however.

Cthulhu Sashimi said...

Good story, but it would be improved if you changed "(long pause, whispers at the other end)" to "(two gunshots, thud of a body falling to the floor)."

Lo said...

Dear Dr. G.
This is just to inform you that I have nominated you "Beautiful Blogger".....sorry there wasn't an award called "Handsome Blogger" or "Macho Blogger", but you know as well as I do.....ya takes what you can get......right?
Congratulations.

RxKerBer said...

This privacy crap has been pulled on me by a couple of MDs whom I have dared to question extreme high doses or frequencies of narcs. One even told me I had no business asking and my job was to fill the rx as written - no questions asked. As did the pts wife who was reporting me to the pharmacy board for doing my JOB. Good luck with that one.

I know you aren't one of those MDs, DrG and they are the exception

terri c said...

Are you sure Al was a nurse? Not a housekeeping staff member just passing by the phone? It REALLY scares me that a person so utterly clueless is working on tele...

Anonymous said...

HIPAA fear is forcefully drilled into students these days. They are told that they could lose their job if they give even seemingly benign information to people who's identity they can't verify; they are told that people on the phone could be lying about their identity and could be the estranged relative whom the patient doesn't want information given to. They are told things such as, they can't leave folders with patient information in their car because someone might break in. (I've heard this being told first hand) Yes, the fear runs that bad nowadays. HIPAA is becoming a ridiculous PITA, hindering care, thanks to all the fear going around. There have been debates over whether or not nurses can give bedside handoff report to the next nurse when the patient is in a semi-private room. Yes, the fear runs bad. This newbie will learn soon enough that he simply can't function at his job if he succumbs to all the fear.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Terri- not a nurse. Telemetry tech.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I sympathize with the new guy, men are impersonating doctors all the time, especially when they want to feel a woman's boobies. You should have used the secret password.

Anonymous said...

8:03 is on target. people DO lose their jobs over hipaa violations, although this usually involves nosy chart browsing. and organizations must demonstrate policy, education, investigation, and action on stupid violations or the institution becomes liable. i have a signed release of information on file to see my own record. and my wife signed one so i can see hers. but i am a little afraid to.

dan said...

What do ya say Al?

Cody said...

I was calling on refills once, and the receptionist told me that I can't ask for refills due to HIPAA regulations. That was an interesting call. I asked to speak to a nurse instead and got the refill authorization I needed. Where do people come up with this stuff?

Anonymous said...

I frequently log onto our hospital's computer system to look up my own personal lab/x-ray reports. Because I didn't order the tests nor am I my own attending physician, when I click on my name, a window pops up saying "this chart is not associated with you, if you proceed you may be charged with violating hospital privacy policy." I smile to myself, and proceed. I dare 'em to try

The Mother said...

You weren't supposed to know. It's a secret.

Christine-Megan said...

Annon 11:15- We just had a HIPAA review course to teach us that accessing our own chart is indeed a violation of HIPAA and we will be fired over it.

Anonymous said...

I never understood that. Checking my OWN profile, my OWN labs, my OWN Rx fills, etc... is considered a HIPAA violation. Didn't make sense to me at the first meeting, and still doesn't make sense at the thirtieth.

 
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