In addition to everyday/TPO activities, there are other activities workers can do without getting patients' permission. No patient permission is needed to do certain activities that benefit the public.
- Using or disclosing patient information to reasonably prevent a threat or harm to an individual, or to the public.
- Using or disclosing patient information to comply with state law requirements.
- Using or disclosing patient information for the purposes of organ or tissue donation.
- Disclosing patient information to public health authorities so they can gather public health statistics (such as vital statistics [births and deaths], communicable diseases, cancer registries, etc.).
- Disclosing patient information regarding product defects, tracking or adverse events to medical product vendors, who must report such information to the Food and Drug Administration.
- Disclosing patient information as permitted or required by workers' compensation laws.
- Disclosing patient information to a patient's employer, under certain circumstances.
- Disclosing patient information to authorities to report suspected child abuse.
- Disclosing patient information to public agencies for health oversight activities.
- Disclosing patient information in response to a court order, for judicial and administrative proceedings.
- Disclosing patient information to law enforcement officials (usually to investigate physical or other abuse of the patient).
- Disclosing patient information to a medical examiner, after the death of a patient.
HIPAA allows these uses and disclosures of patient information without permission. However, if you perform the publicly-beneficial activities above, please pay close attention to the "accounting of disclosures" requirement (described later in the text). Workers must record a list (i.e., an "account") of all publicly-beneficial disclosures to outside entities that you make. Workers affected by the accounting of disclosures rule will receive additional training.