Health Information Management

Form a discovery response team to effectively implement legal holds

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 30, 2008

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The first step in creating a legal hold plan is the formation of a discovery response team consisting of representatives from the following:

  • Administration
  • Legal
  • Risk management
  • Information technology
  • HIM
  • Records management
  • HR
  • Consultants (e.g., e-discovery, forensics) 

This proactive measure facilitates development of an offensive response strategy for organizations. Situations that could result in litigation include a patient who slips and falls while in the hospital or a patient who becomes disgruntled due to inordinate hospital wait times. A letter from a patient or attorney is another trigger. "You need to capture these letters coming in the door," says Maritza Santamaria-Hoffman, JD, RN, a litigation associate for Banner Health in Phoenix. Letters often go directly to executive-level staff and not the HIM department, causing a delayed response and loss of producible data, she says.

Editor’s note: This tip was adapted from the January issue of Medical Records Briefing. For more information, click here.



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