Twas the night before... -- a weekly HIPAA message

December 24, 2002

picture disc.HIPAA, the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," provides federal protection of patient health information. You will be receiving weekly messages to help you understand the topic and how it impacts your job. Enjoy today's holiday HIPAA message.


'Twas the night before surgery, and all 'cross the floor
The patients were buzzing 'bout the guy in Room Four.
His chart was hung on his door with great care
To make sure his name was not shown anywhere.

The patients were nestled all snug in their beds
While telemetry monitors beeped overhead.
And I in my gown, with its crack in the back,
Had just settled down for my clear liquid snack.

When down the hall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
I pulled off my leads and flew out the door,
With my IV pole dragging behind on the floor.

Away to Room Four I hurriedly dashed
Unaware of my gown and the nurses I flashed.
As I slid to a halt and leaned to peek in
I heard the nurse say, "Sir, you mustn't go in!"

And what did I see when I looked in Bed A
But ole Mr. Claus; on his belly he lay.
Covered in gauze and stuck high in the air
Oh what a sight, 'twas St. Nick's derriere!

He was yelling at Doris, the nurse at his side
To be tied to this bed, he just could not abide.
He moaned and he bellowed about his ill luck
But there was just nothing for it; the old man was stuck.

"What happened to Santa?" to Doris I said,
"Why's he on his belly in this hospital bed?"
With a grin she whispered, "He did something stupid.
He injured his butt when he backed into Cupid."

But the old man's ears were sharp as a tack.
He heard what she said there behind his back.
"You had no right to speak, and that is a fact!
Don't you know about HIPAA, the privacy act?"

"You're out of compliance, Doris, my dear.
You had no right to tell him 'bout my injured rear!
I'll sue you for breach, and this hospital, too!
You won't have a job when I'm through with you!"

"When I check my list and then check it twice,
You'll be in the column labeled 'Not Nice.'
The HIPAA patrol will likewise drop by
To find out why you, Doris, did not comply!"

"They'll want to know why you opened your yap,
A big, hefty fine on your butt they will slap.
And from me every Christmas you will now see
Nothing but switches and coal 'neath your tree."

Merry Christmas and HIPAA New Year!

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If you're a manager, please ensure all of your employees are informed of the contents of these messages and how it applies to your work area. Some ways of sharing the information include discussions during staff meetings, printing and posting this message or asking your employees if they have any further questions.