Maintaining patients’ privacy and confidentiality has always been an ethical obligation of nurses. Navigating the nuances of what information about patients can be shared and with whom while keeping patients’ families and friends informed of the clinical condition of their loved one has always been tricky. With the introduction of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule in 2003, health care clinicians have expressed increased confusion and concern regarding information sharing because of fear of potential repercussions, including fines and diminished job security. Simply put, the HIPAA Privacy Rule was enacted to protect patients’ health information and to define patients’ rights related to their health information. This privacy rule also outlines possible consequences and penalties for violations. Since its introduction, concerns about violating the HIPAA Privacy Rule have created dilemmas for nurses who want to involve and...

You do not currently have access to this content.