Tuesday, October 7, 2014

HIPAA privacy at what cost

HIPAA privacy has given us peace of mind where our personal information is concerned,  or at least - that is the theory.  

From a patient's perspective,  the first effect we saw from this complex law was a change in patient intake at the doctors office.   This was followed by more paperwork - both out of fear of non - compliance with this rule.  

That is something we have all dealt with for years now.  I would wager that few of us read any of the many privacy forms we sign every year... We sign them and move on.

This has morphed into something that I don't think the law makers ever intended - privacy at the cost of the patient comfort and peace of mind.

I am sitting in the outpatient surgical area of a hospital waiting to be taken back for my next surgical step in my reconstructive journey.   The first thing I was told when I arrived was  "no visitors".

I have been here before,  why no visitors?  Family gives me peace and comfort,  not to mention helps with the inevitable boredom that comes with two hours of waiting. 

HIPAA privacy.  

Because of HIPAA privacy,  patients are no longer allows to have visitors at their side.

This unit has beds that are only separated by curtains,  so personal information has been overheard by families for years and this had to stop.

With that need for assumed privacy - by the way,  I can hear everything but I guess that my ears don't count- here I sit,  all alone,  waiting. 

I don't think this is what they meant.