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SANP is a non-profit, volunteer-run, professional organization that supports and advances the professional interests of its membership — NPs, NP students, and nurses who have an interest in the NP practice.

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Making the Difference Campaign

By Debra Bathgate

SUN is preparing to launch TV ads as part of “Making the Difference”campaign this fall.  They want real life stories from the patient / family perspective, to engage the public. This is a positive venture that we can be proud of.

 However, there are some confidentiality considerations for us when we agree to participate. Please be aware that your manager and / or health region confidentiality officer/designate must be aware of your participation if you are considering participation.  So please talk to them.

 Secondly, HIPPA deems that patient and family stories must not identify the individual or family in the story.  In some communities, just a few details could easily identify the patient or family.

 Thirdly, SUN would prefer to involve actual individuals/families in the story telling of how the nurse “Made the Difference”. Obtaining consent of the patient / family is touchy, when it comes to HIPPA.  Some interpretations of HIPPA propose that to obtain informed, and written, consent from the patient/family during a face to face care episode would be OK. But at that point, neither you nor the patient can often anticipate the difference made. The interpretation is also that to contact a patient or family after the care happened is secondary use of personal information and illegal. This means that as you recall a good example of a story where you “Made the Difference” last month, you can't phone the person and ask them to participate. That would be secondary use of the information. However, when an individual tells you that you made a difference there might be an opportunity. You could provide the person the information to contact SUN.

 Finally, please wholeheartedly support the SUN Making the Difference campaign, participate if you receive the opportunity, and stay safe in your practice guidelines.

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