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Today I walked in to one of the staff elevators at my hospital. A physician was on the phone, apparently with his office, talking in detail about one of his cases. He was using the patients' name and other descriptive information. The physician kept talking about this patient the entire elevator ride, another 6 floors, until we got to the top floor......about one or two minutes. By the time we got to that floor, it seemed as if I pretty much all there was to know about this patient and some of his history.

Now, did the doctor violate that patients' HIPAA rights? Was that patients' health information compromised?

It seems clear that this physician was so in to what he was doing, that he clearly forgot HIPAA protocols. That is something that could in fact be easy to do. So a real attention to knowing your surroundings and what is going on is of critical importance.

  • communication -

    Is that last paragraph your response to the two questions? If so, it needs to be phrased more directly. You have provided an answer to the first question, but not a definitive answer to the second.

    PS -- It would be better to say "this physicial was so involved in what he was talking about..." rather than "so in to" (which is slang).

  • communication -

    Sorry -- "this physician" (not "physicial"!!).

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