Unique Problem? Any solutions?

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Confused and Scared in Panorama City, California

42 months ago

Hi all:

I have a rather unique concern and hope someone can help me. I am a US licensed pharmacist and have not been practicing pharmacy since my graduation (4 years ago). I am now interested in entering the work force. I have tried residency but could not match with one.

I prefer patient pharmacy. As most of you know, the market is very tight especially in Southern California. Inpatient positions usually require experience or residency. Fortunately, I have found a volunteer position where the director is very much willing to teach me skills to improve my clinical skills. Here lies the problem: to learn anything clinical, we would have to access patients' profiles. My mentor is very much concerned about HIPPA violation. Because I am not an intern/extern/student, I have no business seeing these patient's files.

I am wondering if any of you have done similar thing and how did you go around the HIPPA rules and regulations. Many thanks in advance.

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JB in Tujunga, California

40 months ago

Hi there, I'm a prospective pharmacy student so not a professional yet, but I don't see why you seeing patient files is a violation of HIPPA... I mean, you're still a pharmacist who is working on the patient's case, paid or not. Your mentor (like most people) probably is scared to death of HIPPA and doesn't understand the difference between a violation and not, what you need to do is contact the HR department there is usually a HIPPA case manager or something and they can reassure your director that it's ok for you to work with patients. It's kind of silly that a director would think that. I mean, if a doctor is volunteering his services at a free health clinic, does that mean he's violating HIPPA? ofcourse not.

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