Health Information Management

Limit your risk; address snooping problems swiftly

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 10, 2009

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HIPAA privacy and security officers must face the reality that employees may misuse their access to snoop in a patient’s record, says Thomas Jeffry Jr., Esq., a partner at Arent Fox, LLP, in Los Angeles.

However, you can decrease the chances that this will happen and protect your organization from the consequences if it does.

Covered entities must strive to protect PHI against employees who snoop with preparation, strong training programs, and record tracking and auditing systems, says Jeffry.

“You’d like to be able to trust all your employees to do the right thing, but unfortunately it is human nature to be curious sometimes,” says Jeffry. “Healthcare organizations have so much information floating around out there that eventually some employee is going to consider using it to their benefit.”

Taking action after the fact may protect you from legal action, but it is not enough, says Jeffry.

Note: For more information, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Health Information Compliance Insider have access to this article in the December issue of the newsletter.



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