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The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving the practice of professional nursing in Texas. Any RN or LVN found guilty for violating the state laws and regulations as well as charged with an administrative case may be subjected to a disciplinary case if not properly defended by a Houston nurse attorney. R100466N7178

On or about July 17, 2009, an RN from Houston failed to protect confidential patient information in that she accessed the medical records of a patient without authorization.

Her conduct could have injured the patient in that the patient’s confidential information was accessed without the patient’s authorization or consent.

Subsequently, the RN violated the boundaries of the nurse/client relationship in that she accessed the medical records of a friend who was scheduled for a medical procedure at the facility. Her conduct could have injured the client in that it could have resulted in confusion between the needs of the nurse and those of the client.

In addition, the RN’s conduct could have caused delayed distress for the client, which may not be recognized or felt by the client until harmful consequences occur.

During the hearing, the RN admits to the accusations. She states that she noticed that a patient scheduled for a procedure in the adjoining room was her colleague and friend. The RN opened the patient’s file. She states that the patient had been telling her friends and coworkers, including the RN, that she was set to have a procedure and that she would be grateful for their prayers.

Out of concern for the patient, the RN opened the file in order to bring herself up to speed should she need to temporarily step-in for the scheduled CRNA. It was common practice for the small collection of CRNA’s at M.D. Anderson to provide mutual assistance and take over for each other for short periods of time during long procedures so that the assigned nurse could take a brief rest break. This meant that the substituting CRNA needed to be familiar with those individual’s case files and medical history.

The RN wanted to ensure this particular patient’s procedure went as smoothly as possible so she reviewed the record in the morning rather than wait until the last minute later that day should she be required to assist the assigned CRNA. She recognizes that what she did was wrong and that she should have only accessed the records, if at all, if it became necessary once she was actually called in to assist the assigned CRNA.

The RN states that this entire episode has been a learning experience for her and only underlines the need to strictly adhere to the confidentiality requirements concerning patient records.

Avoid a similar thing from happening on your end. Make sure to find the right Houston nurse attorney in case a complaint will be filed against you before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).

Consult with Houston nurse attorney Yong J. An today if you have any questions about your disciplinary process by calling or texting him at (832) 428-5679 day, night or weekends.