RICHMOND, VA: As part of the ever-growing concern for patient privacy, Health and Human Services recently cited a VA patient for signing his own name on the preop consent form prior to his open heart surgery.
“The goal of HIPAA is to promote the highest level of patient care while protecting confidential health information”, HHS told our investigative team. “How can we maintain a culture of privacy if the patient is aware of his own name? That information is going to spread around the hospital on medical documents, get-well cards, and every time he introduces himself! We just can’t allow that to happen”.
HHS has been cracking down on HIPAA regulations in healthcare facilities across the country to ensure compliance by doctors, nurses, staff, students, and now, patients.
The patient in question has been instructed to forget his given name and birthdate, and to refer to himself for the rest of his life as John Doe.
HHS released a statement explaining that this incident is one in a long line of privacy breaches tracing back to the patients themselves, and that they must be stopped.
“At the end of the day, while we take care of the patients, they really are our own worst enemy when it comes to HIPAA regulations”.
John Doe was given a verbal warning, with the threat of losing his license as an SICU patient and demoted to Telemetry should the incident be repeated. He was unavailable for comment as he is currently waiting in line at the DMV to change his name on his drivers license and passport.