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What Every CNA Needs to Understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Privacy Rule

When working as certified nursing assistant you will be responsible for understanding and using some parts of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability rule (HIPPA). Our main concern here is the “confidentiality/privacy rule.”  The knowledge of privacy and confidentiality issues are fundamental components of CNAs providing respectful care.

HIPPA may at first appear complicated, but the practical applications of HIPPA are not really all that difficult. Once CNAs have an understanding of the major concerns of HIIPPA-privacy, and the impact it has on your everyday work it becomes clear.

Every patients has the right to personal privacy and confidentiality of their information. They have the right to know that their personal information will not be released without their consent.

All certified nursing assistant must follow the guidelines of their work place when reporting and providing patient care.  Nursing Assistants should be well trained in the policies and procedures of the facility where they work. It is not suggested to discuss them outside of the facility.

Confidentiality and privacy becomes an issue when you share information about your patient to others. Compromising personal information is a direct violation of the HIPPA Laws. Divulging patient privacy information can ultimately result in termination of your job, and the loss of your CNA certification.

Privacy/Confidentiality Breeching issues example

Such as revealing the patients personal information with:

  • Another resident of the facility
  • Friends or visitors of your patients
  • Social media
  • Members of your family
  • People in your community
  • Healthcare staff that are not directly involved with the patients care

Confidentiality can also includes other medical employers.  A certified nursing assistant should never repeat any information you overhear among other staff in regards to a patient.

Implemented in 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability can penalizes and fines health care providers and facilities that do not follow the rules outlined by HIPAA.