Health Information Management

Taking vitals

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 24, 2008

Q. Do nurses violate HIPAA when they give patients injections or take their vital signs in public areas, such as hallways, instead of private areas?

A. Giving injections or taking vital signs outside a private area does not violate the privacy rule. If clinical staff members must perform these activities in public areas, providing as much privacy as possible with movable dividers would be a reasonable accommodation.

Editor's note: Mary Brandt, president of Bellaire, TX-based Brandt & Associates, LLC, answered this question. This is not legal advice. Consult your attorney regarding legal matters.

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