Health Information Management

Tip of the week: Plan ahead for common requests covered by HIPAA

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 4, 2007

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It's important to make sure that you have procedures in place to deal with routine requests covered by HIPAA rules. This may include patient requests to opt out of a facility directory or to not disclose information to a certain person.

Train your staff members to manage common requests appropriately and in a timely fashion. This doesn't mean you have to agree to every request, but you need to respond promptly either way. This can be more complicated than it sounds, because patients may make requests of anyone who enters their room, such as an aide or maintenance staff member who doesn't normally handle such requests. Make sure that you train all staff members who may have patient contact on how to communicate requests to the right people.

This tip was adapted from the September 2007 issue of Health Information Compliance Insider. For more information, click here.

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