August, 2007 Archive

August 4, 2007, 12:19 pm

HiPAA Induced Paranoia – Coming to a DSM Near You!


Wow – if I had known I could have gone into appliance presentation, I’d have specialized!

Maybe even get my CAP certification (Certified Appliance Presenter)!

How pretty and organized that med refrigerator is!

Clean, too!

Ours looks like an overstuffed turkey, with the stuffing made up of multivits vials, antibiotics (Bicillin L-A, anyone?), various and sundry paralytics, diptheria-tetanus boosters and vials of diltiazem, among other things.

At least you won’t find the staff lunches in there. Joint Commission made sure we had a different refrigerator for that.

That fridge makes the med fridge look like it was organized by an obsessive-compulsive clean freak.


Speaking of meds, sing along with me to the tune of “Sexyback”:

They’re bringin’ Compazine back – YEAH!!

Those other anti-emetics don’t know how to act – YEAH!!

They make you act real weird and that’s a fact – YEAH!!

Yep, I guess big, bad Compazine is back in favor. At least until the Zofran cartel gets ahold of them.

Now I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but as soon as Zofran became widely available for use in the ER, Phenergan began causing necrosis and was contraindicated for kids, Tigan suppositories were discontinued and Droperidol was given a bad rap.


Definitely in the things that make you go “Hmmmm…” category!


File this one under “HiPAAranoia”:

First they tell us to put the patient’s name tag on all IV bags that are hanging. Then we are to highlight the name in pink, followed by an orange med sticker with the name of the medicine circled in black.

I haven’t used that many colors since I bought crayons for kindergarten.

But after you have followed all the above instructions and the IV has been infused, you must now cross out the patient’s name with a Sharpie before you throw it in the trash!

Because nothing will ruin a person’s reputation like having a dumpster diver discover they received, (oh god I can hardly say it…) Rocephin!!!!!!

My department went so far as to place black sharpies in every room to facilitate compliance with this last of a long line of paranoid behaviors inspired by HiPAA.

I’m sure they will stay there until Joint Commission tells us that Sharpies are hazardous materials and need to be in the locked cupboard.

The next step will be patient identifiers that self-destruct ten seconds after use, ala Mission Impossible.


Will this insane obsession with privacy ever end?

I wonder if the folks behind the HiPAA regulations ever expected it would be taken this far.

They’ve made us all so paranoid that we are afraid to even look at a patient for fear of privacy intrusion.

I’m pretty sure we’ll find the defintion of HiPAA-induced paranoia in the next version of the DSM.

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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