We deal a lot with the importance of confidentiality in the Professional Issues portion of our Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation course. More and more hospitals and practices in Canada and the US are adopting Electronic Health Records, but hackers are finding weaknesses in their networks and are stealing patient data. It seemed like a great time to remind students and MT/HDSs about their duty to treat the information they transcribe with the utmost care and discretion.
The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) Privacy Rule was established to protect an individual’s medical record and personal health information, while the information is being distributed to necessary medical professionals in order to facilitate a high quality of health care. The Rule provides a balance that allows the necessary use of patient information while protecting the privacy of the person seeking care.
Now folks, remember, that’s HIPAA, not HIPPA or HIPPO or any other animal. Since so many people do spell the acronym wrong, blog.hipaa.com decided to make light of the misused form of the acronym in their latest meme:
Now, back to the serious stuff. As a medical transcription/healthcare documentation specialist, you must always remember that the medical record is a legal document. When you are transcribing these sensitive documents, you must do so with complete confidentiality. Each medical record MUST remain absolutely confidential. The information in each of these documents is based on a confidential relationship between the physician and the patient. As a medical transcription/healthcare documentation specialist, it is very important that you take the security of the patient record seriously. Failing to do so could result in termination of employment and even possible legal recourse.
Following these guidelines will ensure that the privileged information between doctor and patient remains that way.
Deb Albert, CHDS
CanScribe MT Instructor