Employees’ unlawful access of patient records is all too common.
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Employees that inappropriately access patient records is a large problem for many practices.
Many employees aren’t aware of or are unsure when they can look at PHI, but this can lead to huge implications for your practice.
In Cleveland, a hospital had to notify almost 700 patients after a HIPAA privacy breach. The breach was one employee snooping on confidential records for over a three year period.
So, how do you know if your employees are inappropriately accessing patient records?
Start by performing frequent internal audits of your practice’s patient records and of your employees.
Train your employees on what they can and cannot access. You are responsible for your employees. Make sure your employees know that HIPAA violations are serious and dealt with as such by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Training is the best way to curtail employee snooping. Make sure to train employees on sanctions for inappropriate access.
Then follow-through. Make sure to issue appropriate sanctions as internal employee breaches have very real consequences for your practice.
We help our clients put policies in place to ensure that employees don’t snoop on records, then we train their employees.
If you have a high-profile patient, it is advisable to proactively monitor the patient’s medical record.
Employee snooping is not a new issue, however it is a very serious issue that is often underestimated.
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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.