HIPPA and the Privacy of Medical Records

1335 Words6 Pages
HIPPA and the Privacy of Medical Records Previously, healthcare information has been protected by state law. However, since this information crosses state lines, the need for federal protection has been warranted. In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA provides the first federal protection for the privacy of medical records (Burke & Weill, 2005) HIPPA encourages the use of electronic medical record and the sharing of medical records between healthcare providers, because it can aid in saving lives. HIPAA requires that patients have some knowledge of the use of their medical records and must be notified in writing of their providers' privacy policy. HIPAA has technical requirements which a healthcare provider, insurer, or service provider, unless exempt under state law, must provide. An organization must conduct a self evaluation to learn what threats its records face, and develop techniques needed to protect the information (HIPAA, 1996). HIPAA's purpose is to protect the privacy of the consumers. The Security Rule of the HIPAA law affects technology the most in a Healthcare or Human Service organization. The Security Rule deals specifically with Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI). The EPHI has three types of security safeguards that are mandatory to meet compliance with HIPAA regulations. Administrative, physical, and technical. There is constant concern of different kinds of devices and tools because of their vulnerability: laptops; personal computers of the home; library and public workstations; USB Flash Drives and email, to name a few. These items are easily accessible for those attempting to breach security. Workers of the healthcare area have complet... ... middle of paper ... ...explains and clarifies key provisions of the medical privacy regulation, this is a reliable source of information which was published last December (HIPAA, 1996). Guaranteeing the accuracy, security and protecting the privacy of all medical information is crucial and an ongoing challenge for many organizations. References American Medical Association (2005) Retrieved December 7, 2008, from http://www.ama-assn.org/. Burke, L. and Weill, B. (2005). Information Technology for the Health Professions Retrieved December 6, 2008, from Axia College, Week Two reading, aXcess, HHS 255 Technology in Health Services Course. United States Department of Health and Human Services office for civil Rights (HIPAA). Retrieved on December 7, 2008, from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/.
Open Document