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HIPA law and roommates HIPA law and roommates

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Unread 08-22-2011, 07:49 PM
HIPA law and roommates

I have discovered that the hospital I will have my surgery at has double rooms in most every area. It is a fairly new hospital, so what is the reason for this? I understand that it would be helpful to nurses, but all the other reasons seem detrimental to patients. So, my question is, were you forced to have a roommate? Was it as awful as I am imagining? I hate being bothered when I don't feel well, so hospital staff doing that will be all that I can handle. Finally, with the HIPA health laws, how can they possibly keep your information from being heard by other patients and her visitors in the room? I have been told that the OB floor is all single rooms. Can I ask to be on the OB floor? I know some of these are questions for my doc, but I don't see him for a while. Just curious as to how you handled if you had to...
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Unread 08-22-2011, 08:01 PM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

At the hospital I was out if you wanted a single room you had to specifically request it, I got there at 10:45am and there was already a wait list, in the end I ended up with a roommate. Oh and they charged an extra $205 a day for the single room and they charge two days up front for some reason, but I never had to question that since my name never made it to the top of the list.

I had horrible anxiety over the whole roommate situation but it turned out alright. The lady that was already in the room was super nice, we chatted here and there, told our war stories and it did help kill some time even if it was a little inconvienent for me. There is always the possibility that you get a double room and not get anyone else in there with you, my lady had been in the hosp for 10 days and I was only her 2nd roommate, the other lady being a hysterectomy patient who was only there one night. I was told I would be on either the baby floor or the 7th floor (not sure what that is) but I ended up on the 5th floor which was the bariatric (sp?) floor.

The nurses do speak in quiet voices and it's not like they are going over your whole health history, just the basic stuff like pain meds, cath issues, things that you need to do before you leave etc. If you end up with a horrible roommate you can ask to be moved to another room, but the floor that I was on had every bed full. Basically in post op, when a bed comes open, and you're good to go, you get that bed. They don't wait until they have a certain room for you, unless your name came up on the waitlist! Trust me, I'm a freak about germs, bodily fluids, shared bathrooms etc and I was so cracked out on meds I really didn't give a crap. I took my Ipod so I could put it on in case there were things going on I didn't want to hear and I did that a few times as she had some diarrhea, and there were alarms going on outside in some of the other rooms as well as other patients yelling and screaming and all that chaos that happens.
Unread 08-22-2011, 08:10 PM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

I was in a double room with a roommate for both my original hospitalization and for my brief trip back with an infection. I'm not a particularly social person but I actually enjoyed having a roommate. Gave me something to think about other than my misery. Also we gave each other a hand on several occasions when one of us needed something the other could reach rather than waiting for a nurse.
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Unread 08-22-2011, 10:32 PM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

Tennessee -

I had a private room and requested it at the time I did my pre-op appt. There was an additional charge for the room but for me it was worth it. You could ask about it.

As for keeping information private, usually major information isn't discussed in front of everyone. Often they will take family members to a different room to discuss major things. Otherwise the nurses will just check the charts.

If there are visitors in the room frequently they are talking and don't hear what is going on.

Unread 08-22-2011, 11:45 PM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

I, personally, have never been a fan of shared rooms and have learned to "demand" a private room. (A) I don't recover well as it is, and I certainly don't want to have to deal with others' visitors, etc. (B) HIPAA, HIPAA, HIPAA. There is NO way for the roommate not to know about you in a shared room. (C) I'm also a germaphobe. You have to decide what you can handle & afford. I'm not tolerant when I'm sick.
Unread 08-23-2011, 12:08 AM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

Im exactly the same, I am so worried about having to share a room on Friday. In England for previous surgeries I had been in the BUPA hospitals and all rooms were private. This will be my first experience of an American hospital. I was shocked when I learned that you have to share a room in the US, I thought as healthcare here is private that all rooms would be private Im not looking forward to having to share a bathroom with someone, I dont want people listening to me go to the toilet and the thought of germs eewww. Plus if a room mate snored it would drive me crazy and so would a room full of others visitors.
Unread 08-23-2011, 03:08 AM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

My hospital has private rooms in the Women's Center which I was thankful for. The maternity ward was on another floor so I didn't have to hear crying and moaning. Every hospital and insurance policy is different.
Unread 08-23-2011, 03:48 AM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

I had a roommate and she was very nice, we shared some good laughs.
She was there for another surgery, doctors come in when there are no visitors, they close the curtains and keep their voices low.
It didn't bother me at all, its only for two days, and day one your mostly down and out.
Unread 08-23-2011, 05:55 AM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

I was put on the ob ward and did not have a roommate although it was a double room. I lucked out with that, but honestly, it was one night and then I was gone. You don't sleep much anyway and then it's just a vague memory. Don't let this be a worry for you. Focus on getting to the other side and poof! you're there :-)
Unread 08-23-2011, 09:04 AM
Re: HIPA law and roommates

I visited in a hospital with signs saying that if you overheard something about another patient, please keep it to yourself! Oh great, that's helpful and reassuring. I asked for, and got, a private room, actually for both my surgeries, but I noticed that the double rooms seemed to not be fully occupied when I walked by. I would ask for a private room but if you don't get one, stress to the staff that you have privacy of info concerns. I'm sure they try to respect that but a reminder doesn't hurt. At least the big open wards with only curtains between patients is a thing of the past, I was in one of those years ago.

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