Archive for the ‘Healthcare Informatics Protection’ Category

Child Abuse Reporting for Non-Nurses, comment

March 8, 2012

I read the article Child Abuse Reporting for Non-Nurses. Citizens should also know about missing children in their geographical area. Many abused and missing children are returned home by average citizens. Progression toward abuse and death is stopped.

When I see a child I believe is reported missing or abducted, my iPhone(r) is turned on. Comparison can then be made between the child in my presence and the one on the screen. Informatics has made it easy and quick to make the comparison. Sometimes an age progression picture is on my screen. This can make it difficult to be certain.

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The Impact of HIPAA on Patients and Nursing Staff

August 9, 2011

When HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was passed in 1996 it was an important step in providing a patient with new rights to privacy, greater access to and control of their medical records. This was made necessary due to the increasing practice of electronically sharing data by fax and computer. Had this not passed we would probably be checking our medical records on “Youtube”.

 

However, as with all good things, there is usually a downside. There was great confusion understanding just to whom, when and how patient information could be shared. This interfered with doctors obtaining necessary information from other medical professionals when a timely response was critical to patient safety.

 

The stiff penalties associated with non-compliance also generated some fear in the medical institutions. Civil penalties of $25,000, in addition to fines of up to $250,000, and 10 years in jail was pretty frightening.

 

Much of this confusion and fear has diminished in the last few years as far as the medical profession is concerned.  However, patients are another matter.  As I discovered from a quick survey of family and friends, it appears that nobody actually reads the forms that they receive and sign. Most have a vague idea that it involves privacy, but have no idea of the implications.

 

Until a situation arises, most family members do not realize that they cannot access their adult children and sibling’s medical information without written consent of the patient. Even fewer realize that there is an expiration date to the consent form.

 

This misunderstanding results in many heated telephone conversations, particularly with parents of adult children.  These parents want to set up appointments and get test results and do not realize that they are not entitled to this information. This can be a great distraction and time waster for the nursing staff.

 

How can we do a better job at educating patients and family with respect to HIPAA?

 

Perhaps some of the problem with HIPPA can be summed up in a joke that appeared on hippa.yale.edu in 2004.

 

Knock, Knock.

Who’s there?

HIPAA

HIPAA who?

Sorry, I am not allowed to disclose that information.

 

 

 

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Protection of Healthcare information, comment

April 20, 2009

Although we now have the magical HIPPA there are still medical facilities that do not follow or maintain this regulation. I realize that it is a benefit and convenience that physicians can now read their patients xrays, lab results, etc on email and by logging into a facility’s system, but how safe is this for the patient. If the physician can do it from his vacation spot, then what is to stop a hacker from doing it and placing it on the web or worse changing your information for his sick pleasure. I called for my personal records to a physician I had seen. I wanted to records sent to me to take for a second opinion. The medical records lady asked me what I wanted them for and when I explained I wanted so I could go elsewhere she stated no problem she would get them out to the address they had on file. I explained that I now had a POB and that I needed it sent to that address. She agreed. I signed nothing. I proved nothing. I was shocked. Having been in nursing for close to 20 yrs even “way back” we had to have a signature before we just sent out people’s information. When I got my records I reviewed them. Funny enough they had me listed on one xray report as a 77yr old wf. I am a 38 wf. The other part of the report was basically accurate, but the medication they had me on was inaccurate and the reason for the test was wrong. When I called the office to complain they laughed. Because of the problems I was having and the potential seriousness of the outcome, my new physician didn’t feel she could trust that report so I have had to pay to repeat the procedure and go through the procedure again. How scary is this? I was able to get my records without proving who I was and I received inaccurate reports. How many times does this happen? Now with the web involved it is even scarier to me. I wonder sometimes if my information is listed online. There are such websites that list individuals autopsy results. Now, most of these are famous people, but how upsetting would it be for you to google a loved one and read all about their autopsy and other medically sensitive information? I feel that we have an obligation to our patients to make sure their medical information is protected. We should treat our patients information as we would want ours treated. As an co-owner of a medical clinic I am very strict on my employees regarding patient confidentialty and I have even fired employees for discussing patients. This is wrong in my opinion. If it is not directly related to the patients care then it shouldn’t be discussed.

Original Post:
April 7, 2009
The differences among privacy, confidentiality and security The terms privacy, confidentiality and security are terms used to describe aspects of access that is the ability to obtain data and information for specific purposes any by specific users. Privacy, the individual’s right to limit the disclosure of personal information. The individual has the right to feel confident and trusting of the organization that their data and information will not be used inappropriately or released without their informed consent. Confidentiality is a condition in which that personal information is shared or released in a controlled manner. When information is released the individual should feel secure in the knowledge that the released information is complete and accurate, and is being released to the appropriate source for the correct reasons. Security refers to measures that organizations implement to protect information and systems, including efforts to ensure the integrity and availability of that information and the information system used to access it. With the ability to transmit information rapidly over the Internet and to large numbers of people, each institution should have policies and procedures in place to protect identifiable data and information, and to prevent inappropriate or accidental access to health care information and data. Some of these policies may meet the requirements of accreditation bodies. Violation of privacy, breaching of confidentiality or a failure to provide adequate security measures for health information can impose severe consequences.

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A thought about how databases will stand up to our healthcare needs, comment

April 7, 2009

I get the same feeling too. As we speak, the private sector, communities, states and federal agencies are racing to build Electronic Health Records systems without adequate privacy protections. Congress has fallen far behind in protecting peoples’ right to health privacy. We hear about violations and abuses of privacy and of records almost monthly. Current laws do not adequately protect electronic health records, leaving the marketplace for “personal health records” and other products the “gold rush” of Health IT. 
Uncorrected, this can lead to the crippling of our healthcare system. When patients do not trust doctors or the health care system to protect their privacy, they withhold information, they delay or avoid care, and they become sicker.
Without control and trust, patients will not see physicians or use the health care system in an effective manner. Wary healthcare consumers will drive up costs and increase the danger to others. Further, the data collected and stored will be incomplete and filled with inaccuracies and omissions.
Without congressional input or oversight, a national electronic health records system will be built that will destroy privacy, and more importantly Americans’ trust in their health care system. All this bad news will get worse if “we” do not act to prevent it – now.

Original Post:
March 6, 2009
The past two healthcare systems I have worked for have gone to a system that will allow the providers with in the hospital to communicate with each other. Patient information can be shared from the office to the hospital and within the hospital between departments. Each healthcare system has actually acquired the same company to build their system. They feel that they have a say in what information is used and can also limit access to different individuals based on that individuals job position. With so much stealing of information that goes on within cyberspace, this does worry me. All systems are not foul proof. There are many individuals that spend countless hours trying to hack into systems in order to gain information. This is a problem for healthcare when we are supposed to be acting as patient advocates and keep our patients safe. This includes their private medical information.

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Protection of Health Care Information

April 7, 2009

The differences among privacy, confidentiality and security The terms privacy, confidentiality and security are terms used to describe aspects of access that is the ability to obtain data and information for specific purposes any by specific users. Privacy, the individual’s right to limit the disclosure of personal information. The individual has the right to feel confident and trusting of the organization that their data and information will not be used inappropriately or released without their informed consent. Confidentiality is a condition in which that personal information is shared or released in a controlled manner. When information is released the individual should feel secure in the knowledge that the released information is complete and accurate, and is being released to the appropriate source for the correct reasons. Security refers to measures that organizations implement to protect information and systems, including efforts to ensure the integrity and availability of that information and the information system used to access it. With the ability to transmit information rapidly over the Internet and to large numbers of people, each institution should have policies and procedures in place to protect identifiable data and information, and to prevent inappropriate or accidental access to health care information and data. Some of these policies may meet the requirements of accreditation bodies. Violation of privacy, breaching of confidentiality or a failure to provide adequate security measures for health information can impose severe consequences.

Technorati Tags: , ,

A thought about how databases will stand up to our healthcare needs

March 6, 2009

The past two healthcare systems I have worked for have gone to a system that will allow the providers with in the hospital to communicate with each other. Patient information can be shared from the office to the hospital and within the hospital between departments. Each healthcare system has actually acquired the same company to build their system. They feel that they have a say in what information is used and can also limit access to different individuals based on that individuals job position. With so much stealing of information that goes on within cyberspace, this does worry me. All systems are not foul proof. There are many individuals that spend countless hours trying to hack into systems in order to gain information. This is a problem for healthcare when we are supposed to be acting as patient advocates and keep our patients safe. This includes their private medical information.

 

 


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