HIPAA stick in the face

So today we learned about HIPAA in my dialysis technician school.  This subject I have already covered many times, however, it is always good to remember basics.  In dialysis, things are a tad different, the “norm” isn’t exactly what is the “norm” in the hospital.

Take for example when the dietitian or social worker comes by for a visit, to talk to you about your “report card” or to talk about an medicare issue with you.  Both of these subjects are highly personal.  In hospitals these conversations would be done behind a closed door, or in a more private manner.  In a dialysis clinic, there is no where really a patient can go, they are tied to a machine.

A dietitianor social worker could technically wait until after treatment to take them into their office to chat about lab values or other such things, but the practicality of that is nil.  Time is of the essence, most dietitians have 100 or so patients under their care, taking each one back may not be the most practical, not only that but many dialysis patients have transportation needs that do not allow extra time after dialysis.

We all know the ways we can improve, but I think the answer lies in remembering that every little thing we do can affect the patient.  It can seem like using someone’s first name instead of Mr. Smith isn’t a big deal, but it can be, to Mr. Smith.

That is perhaps the one thing we need to keep in mind, it’s the little things that help make the bigger picture better.

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~ by Kim on September 9, 2008.

2 Responses to “HIPAA stick in the face”

  1. Very well said. It’s something that we all need to remember from time to time.

    It’s the little things.

  2. Yep; HIPAA goes out the window in dialysis. Like you said, there’s really no way around it.

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