Privacy violations in an ER?
May 27, 2012 1:49 AM Subscribe
Recently I had to spend a few hours in a psychiatric emergency waiting room where none of the staff seemed to have any consideration for the privacy of the patients being triaged there. Are any of the things I experienced violations of HIPAA or the like, and if so, what, if anything, would you do about them? (Details inside.)
posted by xyzzy to Law & Government (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
These things happened:
1. The first waiting room was next to the initial triage room where patients were briefly interviewed, had their vitals taken, etc. The glass between these rooms must have been paper thin, because I heard every single thing every patient in there said.
2. While I was being interviewed, the charge nurse was interrupted several times by a subordinate. He asked questions about patients using their first AND last names. At no time during any of my interviews was the door shut.
3. One patient was doing her intake interview in the hallway outside one of the waiting rooms. There were a number of vacant rooms, so it seemed a bit weird to do pre-counseling in the hallway.
4. Another patient had her intake data taken IN the waiting room. Full name, home address, why she was there, where she worked--all right there in the corner while she cried in her pajamas.
Am I weird for thinking this is way over the top? Should I do something about it, and if so, what?