Q: Legality/Duty of a Nurse to inform patient/family of witnessed mistakes and/or neglect?
Are Nurses permitted to inform families of patients (or the patients themselves) of medical mistakes (medications, procedural) or substandard care such as neglect (leaving pts in excrement as a result of short staffing resulting in bedsores, falls with or without injury as r/t short staffing,etc)? For example, a Nurse witnesses blood product being administered to the wrong patient--there may and may not be lasting harm or a reaction at the time--is the Nurse permitted to inform the patient or the patient's family? Likewise, if a Nurse has proof of severe understaffing, unsafe staffing where patient(s) are neglected for hours, as Nurses cannot perform "standard of care", the Nurse documents a formal complaint with administration, but a pt falls with or without injury--is it legal to inform the patient's family of the fall and the reasons behind it? Proven mistakes and negligent care, not suspected, with proof (charting or other documentation). Can a Nurse provide pts/families info?
A: A nurse can discuss a patient’s health care with the patient, the parents of a patient who is a minor, with anyone holding the patient’s medical power of attorney, and with anyone the patient expressly authorizes to receive information regarding the patient’s health care (those identified on the patient’s HIPAA form).
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.