Any patient health information must be kept private and secure. Patient health information is not shared with anyone who is not directly involved in the patient's care. Nurses should view only the health information related directly to the care they are provided and what will help provide safe and effective care.
Under HIPAA rights, patients have the right to see and get a copy of their health records. In order to get a copy of the records, many facilities will request that a form is filled out to obtain the record.
Patients have the right to update their health records. If the patient notices any inaccuracies in their medical records, they can ask that it be corrected. They may also inquire about adding information to the file if it's incomplete or change something they disagree with.
HIPAA allows patients to get a list of any health record disclosures that have been made besides disclosures made for treatment, payment, and health care services. A patient can also request a restriction on certain uses or disclosures.
Patients have a right under HIPAA to choose how they would like to receive their health information.
Public health activities are one of the exceptions where patient authorization is not required. Patient information can be accessed to track and notify about disease outbreaks, infection control, or statistics associated with harmful issues with drugs or medical equipment.
Permitted disclosure of PHI also includes criminal incidents. Medical records that are essential to an investigation of a crime or any documents needed to identify victims of a crime may be accessed without authorization. Incidences of child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence also qualify.
Patient authorization for PHI release is not required in situations with coroners and medical examiners. They are also unnecessary to facilitate organ donations and in cases of death from a potential crime.
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