Corporate Compliance

Q&A: Rights to employee's record

Compliance Monitor, December 21, 2011

Q: If an employee is hospitalized in the facility in which he or she works, does the manager of the HIM department have the right to access the employee’s record for confirmation of admit?

A: No. An employer does not have the right to access a patient’s record without authorization from the patient or his or her legal representative.

Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, vice president of health information management at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX, answered this question. She is a nationally recognized expert on patient privacy, information security, and regulatory compliance, and her publications provided some of the basis for HIPAA’s privacy regulations.

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