Taking common-sense steps to prevent others from coming in contact with patient information in your work area is also part of protecting our patients and complying with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
Use these practices at work:
- Never leave a paper or electronic medical record unattended in public view where patients or others can see it. If you see a record unattended, cover the file, close the electronic record or find another way to protect it.
- If you talk about patients as part of your job, prevent others from overhearing the conversation. Hold conversations about patients in private areas – not the hallway, elevator or cafeteria.
- Never gossip about a patient with ANYONE
- Remove patient documents from faxes and copiers as soon as you can
- When leaving messages about an appointment, mention only date and time of the appointment and other minimal details. (What message would you want left for you?)
- When you throw away documents containing patient information, put the documents in confidential bins for shredding