Health Information Management

The role of privacy and security in releasing medical records

HIM-HIPAA Insider, April 6, 2015

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The HIM department typically manages release of information (ROI) , but privacy and security officers often play a critical role in ensuring records remain secure during transmission.

Privacy and security officers are responsible for upholding the HIPAA requirements surrounding ROI and should see that the records are requested, validated, and delivered appropriately, says Scott Ruthe, vice president of network and security for HealthPort in Alpharetta, Georgia. Even if ROI functions are outsourced, privacy and security officers should assume a level of responsibility for the record throughout the process.
 
One of the greatest risks associated with the ROI process is present at the beginning. Validating a records request can present challenges because organizations must determine whether the request is reasonable and whether the person requesting a record is authorized to do so. To help reduce risks, Ruthe recommends a 32-step process that begins with logging, tracking, and verifying a request. The process also covers record retrieval, release of authorized information, and safeguards, as well as monitoring, completing, and invoicing a request.
 
Continue reading "Release of information: The role of privacy and security in releasing medical records" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on HIPAA have free access to this article in the April issue.



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