HIPPA Laws Be Damned

There’s a new hospital opening in town, and this weekend they are showing it off to the public with a big open house. So many RNs running around the place, I was wondering who’s taking care of the patients at the old place, which hasn’t closed yet.

In the fancy, shmansy emergency room area, there’s a big screen on the wall — across from the nurse’s station — listing each emergency room number, patient’s initials, patient’s age, medical reason the patient is visiting today. Why don’t they just put the person’s weight up there too?

And let’s get an audio version too…let’s not overlooked the rights of the hearing impaired to snoop around while hanging out in the emergency room.

Geeezzzz…who thought of this? Have they ever heard of HIPPA laws?

Just about every time someone from our family has been in this hospital’s emergency room, we’ve run into someone else we knew. Now we can just walk down the hall and check out the person’s age and condition. How convenient!

If someone looks vaguely familiar, the age and initials may be just  the information needed to jog your memory.

Heck why don’t they just put a big lighted billboard out front — like the casinos have — and announce the surgeries being performed today, arrival of new babies, shooting victim’s names, etc. Post the newborns’ photos! Dr. Jones – now appearing in the operating room!

Ok, so there’s a private outtake (or whatever they call it) room. That’s nice. But this big screen on the wall is taking technology a bit too far. I would think a small screen behind the nurse’s station would make more sense. BTW..what about those nurses over 50…they probably won’t be able to see the screen from across the room anyway.

The scary thing is…the RN on the tour didn’t think there was anything wrong with having a big screen listing patient’s info.

Have you every been to a bar or restaurant and stared across the room at a TV screen –even though you couldn’t hear the show? Our eyes have been conditioned to look at TV screens — that’s why my dentist was playing some fake talk show TV in his waiting room the other day with an interview promoting teeth whitening or something. Cha ching! Cha ching!

In case you are wondering, this is the new St. Clare Hospital in Fenton, Mo. Maybe some of their officials will visit my blog. I can always use new readers.

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2 Responses to “HIPPA Laws Be Damned”

  1. gibgrl

    These screens I think are typical now..They are used in the OR command centers for sure. Lets everyone see the status of the surgeries and the rooms.

    And according to HPPA initials are not considered identifiers- neither is age. Even initials and DOB are considered limited identifier.

  2. Sandy

    Define “everyone”??? Why do visitors have to have access to this info? If it is in a private area for hospital personnel “only”, I would have to agree with gibgrl but this blogger was on the tour! I happen to be familiar with this hospital and the “old” one and it is true, we always run into friends and neighbors there. It is a “neighborhood” facility. I don’t see a need for this info to be broadcast. One ER visit comes to mind for me…I would have known/identified “who” the initials belonged to because I was sitting in the waiting room chatting with the family members while my family member was being attended to. Just crazy! Might as well put the social security numbers up there also!
    sandy

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