By Mathew Keller RN JD, Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist
In a cost-saving move, when certain units at a Minnesota hospital are short staffed, managers are asking nurses to allow Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP) to chart under the RN’s license. This allows UAPs to care for patients autonomously without supervision and oversight from RNs.
Needless to say, this practice is incredibly dangerous for many reasons, three of which we will highlight here.
- UAPs simply do not have the training or expertise to independently care for patients without proper RN supervision (and chart accordingly).
- Charts are legal documents, and when others chart using your name and login, it is legally the same as if you completed that charting and said that you did the work being documented.
- All electronic medical records track patient lookups and history; therefore, if the UAP utilizing your chart is looking at other patients, there is a strong possibility of HIPAA violations.
Far from a cost-saving practice, allowing UAPs to chart under someone else’s license is dangerous for the UAP, for the patient, for the nurse, and for the facility.
It cannot be emphasized enough how incredibly dangerous this practice is. In fact, we have seen nurses in other facilities be disciplined for failing to log off their medical record properly, therefore resulting in someone else charting (inadvertently) using the nurse’s login.
Have you been asked to allow another to chart under your license? We need to know. Please contact your steward, your labor rep, and me — at Mathew.email@example.com.