Is it a HIPAA violation to chart while you’re technically off the clock? Many RNs clock off but do paperwork either after work time or before their shift starts. Would accessing records while you’re not technically on duty be a violation?
Dear Nancy replies:
A HIPAA Privacy Rule violation can occur when you access a patient’s record for whom you have no patient care responsibilities, regardless of whether you are on duty or off duty. If you are finishing documentation on a patient you cared for on a specific day because you did not finish that documentation before your shift ended, there is no Privacy Rule violation. Likewise, reviewing documentation in the record on your assigned patient before your shift starts in order to get up to speed prior to your shift, or to add documentation for the patient (following facility policy) charts before you begin to provide care for that patient would not be a Privacy
Remember that the Privacy Rule allows for personal health information to be shared in order to meet its treatment operations. Clearly, documentation in the patient record is the “provision, coordination or management” of healthcare and related services by healthcare providers at your facility.
You can review a helpful summary of the Privacy Rule by going to: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.html.