HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act

Certain laws and regulations require that practitioners and health plans maintain the privacy of health information.  One of the fundamental principles is that access to patient information is limited by the “need to know” rule, which is defined as those individuals that are directly associated with the patient’s care.  Baptist takes HIPAA regulations very seriously.  This law impacts students in the following ways:

  • Patient records may not be photocopied or printed from a computer terminal for personal use (i.e. writing care plans or other papers)
  • Students must not release any patient information independently
  • Any request for patient information should be directed to your preceptor or nurse assigned to your patient
  • You cannot talk about your patients to anyone other than those who “need to know”. 
  • Violations of HIPAA may result in termination of the student experience.

A signed HIPAA statement of confidentiality is required of all students before any clinical experiences.  This form should be printed, signed and will be kept at your respective school by faculty.  

Additional Steps to Protect a Patient’s Privacy

  • Knock before entering a patient’s room
  • Close room doors when discussing treatments and administering procedures
  • AVOID discussions about patients in public areas such as the cafeteria lines, halls and elevators
  • Safeguard medical records by not leaving the record unattended in an area where the public can view or access the record
  • If you have logged into a computer system to view or enter data into the medical record, make sure you log off once you are finished
  • Any patient-identification information is discarded only* in the large gray shred boxes on each unit.  An exception* might be if it is an empty IV Bag in the patient’s room, that has the patient’s name on it, you may mark through the identifying information with a black marker and dispose in the regular trash. 

 

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