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Articles > How To Be HIPAA Compliant

How To Be HIPAA Compliant

by HIPAA on January 13, 2017

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Nowadays it is even more important to learn how to be HIPAA compliant in a doctor's office or hospital. If you are responsible for a patient and his medical information, you need to know what to do to protect the privacy of that person. Staff must learn about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is HIPAA and it is designed to keep the medical information of every patient protected. Everyone on your staff needs to comply. This includes reception, nurses and you. Any information is confidential and the patient is the only one who can decide who to share that information with.

How To Be HIPAA Compliant

How To Be HIPAA Compliant
Keep Work Areas Safe:

Medical offices use computers to store confidential information about their patients. There are also files that have private information on them. It is important that other people don't get access to the information of patients as part of how to be HIPAA compliant. If your staff member must step away from her station, she should see to it that no one can get to any information at her station. It is very easy for someone to walk up and read the file of another patient when no one is tending the station. Lock the computer and see to it that all medical files are out of reach of the public. Put someone in your station temporarily to ensure no one enters and reads information they have no right to.

Use Proper Protocol On The Phone:

If a patient calls wanting information over the phone make sure you are really talking to the correct person. Ask for birth dates and Social Security numbers. Just because they claim to be the patient doesn't mean they are. If a person calls asking for information on a patient, be sure you have permission from the patient before you give any information. There is a minimum amount of information that is allowed to be released to family members and friends. Make certain you never give more than the basic information unless instructed by the patient as part of how to be HIPAA compliant.

Shred Documents And Dispose of Properly:

Any document that contains patient information needs to be disposed of properly. You don't throw these documents into the trash without first making sure it is unreadable. You need to shred all pertinent documents. A special trash bin should be set aside for these documents so you can then shred the documents and take all precautions to prevent the documents from ending up in the wrong hands.

How To Be HIPAA Compliant

Staff Education

Everyone on your staff must comply with HIPAA. They all need to know how to be HIPAA compliant. That means they should never discuss a patient within earshot of another patient or person. When having conversations make sure they are private and no one else can hear the conversation. Staff that doesn't know how to be HIPAA compliant will be careless and that could result in problems for you.

Every patient has the right to privacy so make sure staff knows exactly what must be done to be HIPAA compliant. Your patients rely on you to keep their information safe. Do everything in your power to protect their privacy. Everyone on your staff must know how to be HIPAA compliant, so educate them to prevent possible problems that could arise if privacy is interfered with.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

canas restine October 15, 2012 at 3:35 am

No, it isn't illegal or wrong. It is all the information that the booking room needs to identify you. You can always say you don't want to give your social security number but do you really believe that the high outstanding Joe citizen handcuffed next to you is going to remember your social security numbers?

lobarsantl patrillery October 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Why you think blocking me for my given answer serves any purpose I do not know. I was not rude nor ignorant in answering you, the only thing I am guilty of in my answer is being in disagreement of not only your stance but of all other answers given so far.
I still, even with your devastating decision to block me after one question, one answer still believe that Sheriff Arpaio is not all the demigod that some of the answers make him out to be. Although you may falsely believe that blocking one's answer will give your question's remaining allowed answers the air of total agreement and unreal visual support, I believe it does only one thing. It shows you are in fear of being shown to be wrong, not only in your stance but in your methods of defending your stance.
You can hide behind a door only so long before the door gives in to the mad man on the other side.
Enjoy the dark corner in your world, I pray that you have allowed at least one person opposite of yourself in to keep you company.

Let us see what is the question you are [...]

birgiorene November 17, 2012 at 3:17 am

For the most part, prior to the adoption in many states, "non identifying information", including medical information, is collected and made available to the adult adoptee upon request. The problems with this system are:

1.) The collection of non-ID info varies from state to state & even from one agency to the next. It is not a LEGAL requirement.
2) Well informed prospective adoptive parents can ASK for a medical history before the adoption is finalized.
3.) The information collected at the time of the adoption is quickly outdated, & subsequent NEW information is NOT included in the non-ID info.
4.) People don't consider that medical information is useful FROM an adoptee (to their first family) as well as TO the adoptee. For example, by BFF (oldest child, not relinquished, but could have been in the BSE) has had 2 bouts of breast cancer. Had she BEEN relinquished, her baby sister would not have the information that she has a 1st degree relative with breast cancer (no one else in the family had it prior to my BFF).

In another, real life example, one of the birth moms in my search group discovered that the son she relinquished had been [...]

d'onori dodin November 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm

No! You don't release the information without a written statement saying that you have to, or without the patient's permission. The officer has no rights to the information of treatment or even to the knowledge that the patient was treated there.

From a government website: "if law enforcement is seeking the information of a patient who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime, patient information may be shared if permitted by the patient and only the amount necessary for the investigation. Alternatively, patient information may be shared if the officer completes the Law Enforcement Official's Request for Protected Health Information."

nee December 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

"Is he allowed to discuss my performance with other staff members?"….Of course! He should do so as discretely as possible. But there is a very good chance that your co-workers are in a better position to witness your every day performance in a way that your manager can not. So, yes, that is an excellent resource for him.

I will add, however, that it isn't really smart or appropriate for him to be offering his opinions of you during these discussions. He should just be getting their opinions and reserving his own judgements.

flechone December 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm

It refers to monitoring the "newswires." These days they fall into four categories:
- true independent news orgs like AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, etc
- online news services such as Google, Yahoo
- paid newswire services including PR Newswire, Business Wire, MarketWire, PRWeb, PitchEngine, etc
- and finally hundreds of new "free" online newswires such as, 24-7 Press Release,, i-Newswire, etc

I suspect they were meaning watching the true news orgs like AP, Reuters, Bloomberg. There are of course many more of these including radio, TV depending on your goals, needs.

moschansky lev December 23, 2012 at 3:10 am

Intellectual property confers a bundle of exclusive rights in relation to the particular form or manner in which ideas or information are expressed or manifested, and not in relation to the ideas or concepts themselves (see idea-expression divide). The term "intellectual property" denotes the specific legal rights which authors, inventors and other IP holders may hold and exercise, and not the intellectual work itself.

Intellectual property laws are designed to protect different forms of subject matter, although in some cases there is a degree of overlap.

Copyright may subsist in creative and artistic works (e.g. books, movies, music, paintings, photographs, and software) and give a copyright holder the exclusive right to control reproduction or adaptation of such works for a certain period of time (historically a period of between 10 to 30 years depending on jurisdiction, but more recently the life of the author plus several decades). Throughout the EU and EEA, under the Duration Directive (or the Term Directive), the copyright term for literacy, artistic and other works is life of the creator plus 70 years.[1]
A patent may be granted for a new, useful, and non-obvious invention, and gives the patent holder a right to prevent others from [...]

jcherlo February 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm

theres nothing wrong with recognizing something for what it is. (attractive features.)
but there is a line. and sometimes it does get crossed.
but i don't find i see my family members more handsome/pretty just because they are family. maybe my parents (aunts, grandparents, etc) think that tho :)

castrutte February 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm

By "I don't have text messaging," do you mean you didn't sign up for the unlimited messages for $10 per month? If you have a fairly new phone, you can still send messages for 10 cents each (15 cents for PIX, I think). Just send a PIX message to your e-mail address :-) Good luck!

FYI: When you recieve the e-mail, put the "from" address in your contact list … this is the address you can use to e-mail your phone FROM your computer :-)

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