Sunday, March 18, 2007

A problem

People are upset about this blog.


Over the past week I have been on the phone a lot, explaining both myself and the words I have written here. There are concerns about HIPAA and an upset family, unhappy administrators at work and eyebrows raised at my medical control hospital. Despite my intention, and great efforts to avoid this, it seems that I’ve caused quite a mess.

I want to be clear. I have never written about a patient or a call in a manner that I thought would enable direct identification of that person. All of the written names are pseudonyms, locations are changed (if they are mentioned at all), and I have done my best to be ambiguous, if not facetious, about demographic type details. I am familiar with the HIPAA regulations and I have taken great efforts to make sure my entries here are in accordance with them. It is my strong belief that the details I have written here cannot be used to determine the identity of any of my patients, through either direct or indirect means. These are the guidelines that I have written my entries by, and reading through the archives, I have not strayed.


Still, people are upset. There was concern that I had used a patient’s real name, a rumor spread around my school and the company where I work. My medical control hospital heard about this as well.

It is not true.

My administrators are upset about photos that I posted of an ambulance, in a compromising situation that truly looks worse than it was.

My own fault.

A family is upset about an entry that they found inflammatory.

It was not meant in that way.


Still, I owe explanations and apologies. It seems that despite my intentions, I have caused a good amount of grief for some people with this blog. Over the next few weeks I will be attending meetings, and making those apologies the best I know how. I am responsible for this blog and whatever comes out of it, and I truly am very sorry.


I use this writing for myself. I find it extremely therapeutic to compile experiences with patients and compress them into blog entries, find lessons and crystallize them into paragraphs. This is how I have learned, how I continue to make myself better. I hope that these intentions are clear through the words I have written.


Still, to cause harm with this blog would compromise all of its benefit. I will not do this if it is at the expense of others.


Please bear with me. I hope I can sort all of this out soon.


11 comments:

Ambulance Driver said...

Dang. Good luck to you, and hope you keep writing. Keep your chin up. It's not your blog that needs changing, it's the perceptions of a minority who read it.

Stick to your guns. You've done nothing here to compromise confidentiality or reflect poorly on ANY entity.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for some time and have always found the emphasis of your astute writing to be on the lesson learned with minimal reference to the where, what and who aspect of the case. I'm sorry you have to go through this and I sincerely hope that things work out for you in the end.Hang in there.

Heidi said...

Never once have I read your words of experience and learned wisdom for anything other then to share the experience with you. It has never crossed my mind to try and place any event or person or place as that is beyond the purpose of your writing. If a guy in Britain can get a book deal without any HIPAA violations I am confident you will find a way. If your blog must seize I say it is a tragedy much like any censorship and frankly, people need to get the stick out of their ass and see things for what they really are. Your heart and intention is in the right place...I hope that what is right wins out. You have MY support for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

I got a line of crap from people for things I wrote in the past, and the same here you never used specifics and freedom of speech still exsists.

Blue Ridge Medic said...

Keep on keeping on......

Ed said...

Hey Kid hang in there. I look at your blog as a learning tool not only for yourself but for myself as I consider re-entry into the EMS profession.

HIPPA a touchy thing however, I think those that are complaining are reading between the lines to identify with what you have written.

Scope2776 said...

I check your blog everyday and I always love what you have to say, as a Paramedic student myself. I believe recently there has been a lot of unfair pressure on EMS bloggers. Your writing is so important for not only for others in the EMS profession, but for the public perception of EMS. Your blog helps people to understand the crap we put up with, and the conditions we endure, and the remarkable difference we can have on the outcome of a patient. Your blog, along with a few others, is an important record of the good, the bad, and the ugly of EMS. Like AD said, stick to your guns buddy we're all behind you!

brett said...

Good luck... Hang in there

Anonymous said...

Fiznat, I disagree with those that say that HIPAA is a "stick up the butt" issue, or that it boiles down to freedom of speech. I know I don't have to tell you the circumstances are different when dealing with medical issues. That being said, I've reread many posts..and can't find anywhere where that might be an issue..I'm certainly no expert, but if it exists, it's very obscure.

I'm a huge fan..I hope it works out for you...let us know if we can help!

Dwayne from EMTCity

Anonymous said...

You've done more good than you could ever imagine . . .

Anonymous said...

You don't owe anyone an apology, you've done nothing wrong.