Operational Methods of Training Employees on HIPAA
Due technological advancement in the 21st century, health information and specifically privacy of personal information has become a major challenge. Almost all health information has become computerized, thus patients are concerned about their privacy, and they fear that they are losing control over their health information. In order to dispel public concern, national rules that regulate the use and disclosure of health information the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was established (Hemsley, Georgiou, Hill & Balandin, 2016). Even though the HIPAA privacy laws is not directly in regulating researchers, it restrict the way in which medical professionals make use and disclose health information.
Nevertheless, patient health information has been on the rise due to computerization personal medical records. Therefore a patient’s health information privacy and security is supposed to be the top priority for healthcare providers, patients, their families, professionals as well as the government. It is a requirement by law that all the primary individuals and organizations that take care of health information to have security and policies in place to protect persons health information in whichever form both electronically and on paper (Hemsley, Georgiou, Hill, & Balandin, 2016). In this regard the Security, privacy as well as breach notifications rules and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the major Federal laws responsible for protecting individuals’ health information. These privacy laws provide persons with rights in respect to their health information.
It is a requirement for all medical practitioners to keep accurate medical records. As a matter of fact, this is not only a significant role for the provision of outstanding patient care but also a necessity for the protection of medical physicians. Accordingly for the continuousness of care for patients’ assurance keeping good medical records is vital regardless of whether electronic or handwritten (Hemsley, Georgiou, Hill, & Balandin, 2016). Consequently when medical notes are adequately inclusive it is fast for health specialists to carry on from where the colleague may have left off from. When it comes to protection of individuals’ health information there are a number of concepts that are used interchangeably that is privacy, confidentiality and security. These concepts have different vital meaning as well as distinct role. In this regard, privacy refers to the personal rights of a client left alone to make their personal decisions on the way their individual information is supposed to be shared.
On the other hand, confidentiality in health care is known as requirement by medical experts that have right of entry to patient information and records to keep the information in self-reliance. The professional accountability is to safeguard health information private is supported by certified association codes of morals. In addition security is the direct protection of the privacy of information as well as professionals support by holding that information has to be kept confidential. There is need to fill this gap be re-assuring patient about their privacy so that they do not have fear concerning their health information.
Protection of individuals’ medical records is significant as it enhances promotion of fundamental values that are ideal to personhood like individuality, personal autonomy that is the ability to carry out individual decisions, dignity and human beings worth and respect. Certainly privacy enables people to make their personal decisions free from intimidation, for them to be potentially involved in behavior that may move away from social norms. As a result this give them the space and time to evaluate themselves. Research has shown that information confidentiality play an important role in enhancing personal autonomy which in turn gives people control over the person to access different parts concerning their individual information. Consequently, this enhances individuals to maintain dignity and keep certain features of their behavior a secret as it would be embarrassing for other people to find out about it. Therefore, privacy enables individuals to protect their resources and even keep their information a secret from people who may use it against them, like discrimination by insurers, employers among other.
Confidentiality is a principle medical ethics that ensures that information provided by a patient to a health practitioner is kept private and has limits about how and when it can be revealed to a third party. It is an ethical requirement that medical professionals hold and protect all information about a patient, except if the patient gives consent allowing disclosure. Confidentiality is an important aspect when it comes to healthcare (Hernandez-Boussard, Tamang, Blayney, Brooks & Shah, 2016).
Normally patients put their trust in medical experts, thus they will always want to trust the medical professionals who are taking caring of them. Provision and maintenance of confidentiality makes sure that patients get best quality care. Therefore matters of confidentiality are a standard of exercise in healthcare. Therefore it is important to ensure that there is protection of individuals’ confidentiality in order to facilitate trustful relations between patients and health care professionals. For quality patient care it calls for relevant information communication between health care providers. It is the responsibility of medical practitioners and nurses who constantly interact with patients as well as their confidential medical records to enhance the development of policies, standards which safeguard patients’ privacy and health records confidentiality.
The health cover portability and accountability act is tasked with governing the privacy of person’s medical information and records. It is therefore important that employees who interact with records covered by HIPAA go through a training so as to be able to understand how to handle such records since they are held accountable in case of violation of act. HIPAA training is mandatory for all workers who have access to patient data. This include. Psychologists, nurses, insurance specialists, and opticians (Hernandez-Boussard, Tamang, Blayney, Brooks & Shah, 2016). Medical professionals are tasked with covering individuals’ health information known as protected health information (PHI).
Protected health information are facts used for identification of patients’ past, current and future status. It includes a person’s medical record, demographic identifiers, and address. Protected health information ensures that both written and electrical information is covered. Training of employees helps workers to understand the instances under which to disclose information. It is a requirement that workers undergo training so as to understand the circumstance under which thy can release a patient’s information. These circumstances include operational needs, medical treatment and care, and a patient making a request for information.
Accordingly, through employee training they get to know the number of penalties that are associated with the violation of HIPAA. As a matter of fact, violation of patient confidentiality is against the federal laws and is punishable. On the same note when a medical professional knowingly disclose an individual’s PHI it may lead to a maximum of one year prison sentence together with a fine of approximately $50,000. Therefore, it is important to train employees HIPAA rules since it helps to protect patient information from unauthorized disclosure of health information.
Hemsley, B., Georgiou, A., Hill, S. & Balandin, S. (2016). Isqua16-1897documentation of Patient Communication in Hospital Medical Records: A Protection or a threat to Patient Safety for adults with communication disability. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 28(suppl 1), 44-45.
Hernandez-Boussard, T., Tamang, S., Blayney, D., Brooks, J. & Shah, N. (2016). New Paradigms for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research in Electronic Medical Records: An example of detecting urinary incontinence following prostatectomy. eGEMs, 4(3).