HIPPA violation?

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    Our new computer system has a ‘feature’ in which we will get a “Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)” warning pop up window on any patient we have charted on if they meet certain criteria for sepsis. Working in the ER, if I admit someone to the ICU and they later meet the criteria, I will get a pop up window with their name and which criteria was met, including their current values, such as WBCs with so many Bands, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

    Mostly these are just annoying because as an ER nurse, I am going to do NOTHING with this information, so I asked them to remove them … but that didn’t work. My next attempt was to write an email to our HIPPA compliance officer stating that since I do not have a need to know anything about the patient once he leaves the ER, the system sending me information with specific values is a HIPPA violation and the pop ups should be blocked, or only sent to the current nurse/MD who is taking care of the patient, and not everyone who has charted previously on him.

    She said she investigated it, and found them not to be a HIPPA violation. Looking up the HIPPA law, it seems pretty obvious that it conflicts with the minimum usage section of the law:

    “Limiting Uses and Disclosures to the Minimum Necessary
    Minimum Necessary. A central aspect of the Privacy Rule is the principle of “minimum necessary” use and disclosure. A covered entity must make reasonable efforts to use, disclose, and request only the minimum amount of protected health information needed to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request.50 A covered entity must develop and implement policies and procedures to reasonably limit uses and disclosures to the minimum necessary. When the minimum necessary standard applies to a use or disclosure, a covered entity may not use, disclose, or request the entire medical record for a particular purpose, unless it can specifically justify the whole record as the amount reasonably needed for the purpose. See additional guidance on Minimum Necessary.”

    Anyway … I was just looking for people to agree with me … or maybe someone to explaine why I’m wrong.

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