One of the most powerful ways to advocate for our patients is to speak out when something goes terribly wrong in our hospitals. We know that too many hospitals cut corners. And we know corner-cutting often leads to poor patient outcomes. Although many of our employers would like us to be silent and tell us we’d be violating HIPAA if we speak out, it’s simply not true.
Many RNs are coming forward to stand strong for patients. Nurses like Jennifer, Sally, Mary, Monique, Kathy, Joyce, Alvin and Yolanda have come forward to share what it’s really like to work on our floors when hospitals cut corners on staffing.
Some hospitals have their own policies regarding patient privacy. If your employer has such a policy, please review it.
Please speak with your Rep/Organizer if you believe your employer’s policies are overly broad or restrictive.
- Paint a clear picture of an incident, describe why it was dangerous and how it affected our patient(s) as long as we don’t give:
- names, or
- any identifying details such as tattoos, hair color, etc.
- We can share these accounts even if our supervisor or the hospital knows who we’re talking about. Our supervisor and hospital will *always* know who we’re talking about. That doesn’t make it a HIPAA violation. (Please see important note at right.)
To learn more about HIPAA, please read 10 common HIPAA violations and preventative measures to keep your practice in compliance.