Saturday, March 16, 2013

I wonder if you made it

You know what I hate?  I hate the fact that HIPAA has gotten to the point of such ridiculousness that when I send a critical patient upstairs, I can't even find out what happened to them.  I wonder if they survived.

When you have a patient who you know is in a life threatening situation and you work hard to stabilize them, naturally it affects you more.  You send them up to ICU hoping they will be OK.  Maybe they won't.  Thats the kind of case that you think about longer than normal.  You are amazed they lived this long.

So naturally you want to know what happened.  You can't go into their chart to see if they made it.  Thats a no no. You can't call the station and ask about them.  Thats a no no.

Nurses don't want to know what happens to their patients out of some kind of malicious intent.  We want to know because we care.  We helped them live a little longer. We want to know if it made a difference.  Now a days we are left wondering.


Anonymous said...

One of the nice things about being at a teaching hospital is that the attending can follow up for "educational purposes."

Anonymous said...

And also you want to know to be able to learn something... Was there something I did that turned out to be less good or something that really made a difference to the patient?

How can we learn if what we do really matters if we cant find out what the outcome is...

Sorry about the bad english, I'm a very tired swedish RN and I just now came home from a really intense nightshift. :) I love your blog btw. And you should really check out:


Anonymous said...

I work in acute psych, an assertive outreach inpatient ward. The one thing I love is being able to find out how patients are when they're back in the Community! I hate that there's no way I can find out about the others that aren't care coordinated when they leave. I've nursed them at their most acutely unwell - sucks that I can't know how they're doing. Unless they come back.

I love your blog!

Very over-tired UK MH nurse

Doc Rugrat said...

It annoys me too. As a doctor, if I have to transfer a patient to a higher level hospital, I like to be able to hear about them. I am not a primary care doc, but a hospitalist. I am often left up in the air and hoping I did the right things for the patient.

Anonymous said...

Our management now encourages us to follow up due to high patient satisfaction scores when the patient sees their nurse from the ER! It really gives you the warm and fuzzies to see your patient that has improved remarkably, and a sense of closure if there was a bad ending! I was a floor nurse and moved to the ER and needed to know... I called and got a room number and visited several patients.... Management came to me after my name showed up on surveys and now visitation is encouraged, can't look at charts, but that's all good.