…In the Medical Workplace
A Written Case Brief by:
Sara and Jan, who are both registered nurses at Memorial Hospital, have been friends ever since graduating nursing school 5 years ago. Memorial Hospital is a state of the art hospital with a recently adopted new technology system that allows instant retrieval of medical information and an access to a greater number of people. This “easy access” of patient information has made inter departmental referral of patients quicker and more efficient. The downside of this technology is that it does not have an ...view middle of the document...
She mentions that they are good friends and she would not tell anyone.
Facts of the case:
We are aware of the following facts in the story
1. Sara and Jan are both registered nurses and are friends.
2. Jan’s friend and neighbor Kelly just had her second baby at the same hospital where Jan works.
3. The baby is in the Neonatal Intensive care Unit.
4. Jan takes advantage of her relationship with Sara and tries to persuade her to show her Kelly’s case record as she is curious about the baby and its condition.
5. Memorial hospital has recently adopted a new technology that enables quick access to medical records without hassles of previously maintained voluminous case records.
Good and bad features of the case
1. Jan is concerned about her friend and neighbor Kelly and seeks to know information on the condition of her child, hoping she could be of some assistance to her.
2. Jan is trying to take advantage of both her personal relationship with Sara and her professional standing as a nurse in the same hospital.
3. The two protagonists of the story are toying with the idea of overriding the right to patient confidentiality.
4. The new technology at Memorial hospital makes it even easier for people such as Jan to have access to records and confidential patient information.
5. The baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a moral agent in it and his/her rights to privacy need to be respected.
6. If Sara were to disclose information about Kelly to Jan she would clearly be violating the Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA).The enactment of HIPAA prevents disclosures of information about a patient to persons who do not have a “right to know” because the patient has not authorized them to know private information or to healthcare providers who do not have a “need to know” in order to benefit the patient’s care. (National Institute of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services).Unlawful disclosure is a HIPAA violation and can result in penalties identified under this law. HIPPA applies to all states and jurisdictions because it is a federal law and protects the privacy rights of patients.
Patient’s Perspective. The infant (child to Kelly and her husband, Dan) is clearly unable to act as a moral agent. The infant is only a few days old and obviously unable to make decision making capabilities.
Proxy’s Perspective. Kelly and Dan are the primary moral agents and have a crucial role in decision making for the infant. The parents are responsible for making decisions for the good of the child’s treatment, but decisions can be overridden. They are also responsible for releasing, if they choose to, the infant’s medical information. It is unknown if the parents would approve for Jan (neighbor/friend/nurse at Memorial Hospital) to view the medical chart. Without the parents signing a medical...