Confidentiality and HIPAA
Review the scenario in the assignment folder and identify the issue and indicate the regulation or best practice principle involved. Is Nurse Jones’ disclosure to Paris Lights of Terrence’s condition permitted and/or required by state or federal law? If you have determined that Ms. Jones cannot disclose Terrence’s condition legally, is there anything else Nurse Jones can do regarding the information about Terrence’s condition?
Patient Information Ethical Dilemma
Nurse Jones works at Sunny Hospital, in Nebraska. She also works occasional shifts at Paris Lights, a residential Intensive Care facility for individuals with developmental disabilities (ICF-MR).
While working her shift at Sunny Hospital she learns that Terrence Blue, a Direct Care Worker at Paris Lights, has been admitted to her floor and is diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MRSA is a bacterium responsible for several
difficult-to-treat infections in humans because the bacterium has a strong resistance to most antibiotics and is very difficult to treat.
MRSA is very concerning in settings where patients have open wounds, invasive devices, and/or weakened immune systems as these patients are at greater risk of infection than the general public. In certain patients, a MRSA infection can prove fatal.
Nurse Jones is aware that one of the residents at
Paris Lights where Terrence works [Barry Black] has a very weakened immune system, and any exposure to MRSA could be dangerous.
Terrence is discharged from the hospital and given a special course of antibiotics to treat his condition. When Nurse Jones arrives at her next shift at Paris Lights about a day after Terrence’s discharge from the hospital, she notices from the client treatment records that Terrence has been working with Barry Black over the past two weeks.
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