Health Information Management

HIPAA Q&A: Recognizing a physician's voice

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 8, 2010

Q. When staff members are familiar with a physician and his or her name is on a pathology report, they normally comply with an over-the-phone request for PHI. However, some part-time employees might not recognize a particular physician’s voice. Should we discontinue giving verbal reports by phone?

You may continue this practice in the interest of patient care, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that the person calling is the physician of record. Employees who don’t recognize a physician’s voice should request a telephone or pager number. Staff members can then verify the number on a medical staff roster or list maintained by the pathology department and call back with the results.

Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, answered this question. This is not legal advice. Consult your attorney regarding legal matters.

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