As caregivers, we sometimes endure the unfortunate reality of our loved ones being hospitalized. When we have the option, it’s important to choose qualified healthcare facilities that take active measures to protect patient information.
How do hospitals accomplish this important job? The guide below will explore the answers to that question.
Defining HIPAA and PHI
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was established in 1996. The CDC defines it as “a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.”
Another important abbreviation is PHI, which is short for Protect Health Information. This term is used in hospitals when healthcare professionals discuss who they treat.
HIPPA grants your loved one the following rights:
- Permission to receive their medical records, whether in physical or electronic form.
- The right to disagree about incorrect data in the medical records.
- Transparency about who sees medical information.
Most healthcare organizations should follow HIPPA standards and respect patients’ rights, which go a long way in protecting your loved one’s privacy when they are hospitalized. You can get medical records as a caregiver if your family member gives you permission in writing or grants you power of attorney.
Security at a Hospital
Patients’ confidential information needs to be kept under lock and key. This is why access control systems are so important in hospitals. These security measures will look like a door with a keypad or a door where staff must scan a keycard to enter the area.
Hospitals should implement access control systems where physical copies of medical records are stored, such as in a filing cabinet at the reception desk. The information saved on computers should also be protected using proper security procedures. This means having secure software that protects sensitive data and providing employees with adequate training to keep PHI safe.
Hospitals protect patient information by following laws established by HIPPA. Take the time to learn the rights your loved one has and how you can access healthcare records to ensure proper care.