Corporate Responsibility Regarding HIPAA
HIPAA, or the Health Information Accountability and Portability Act, is an act created to cover the electronic transmission of personal information. As more medical professionals and facilities moved files to an electronic version, an act was necessary to protect the information. HIPAA not only gives individuals protection, it sets standards for healthcare entities in the transmission of information.
Duty of Care
The duty of care refers to the specific responsibility of any entity gathering personal information. That entity acts in good faith that the information will not be shared outside the entity unless the patient grants specific permission. Additionally, HIPAA will implement penalties against any entity that breaks the rules of the act, including fines and closure of the facility if the act is violated multiple times.
An entity operating under the HIPAA rules is required to:
- Ensure all electronic systems are secure against outside intruders
- Ensure all employees are trained and bound by the HIPAA rules
- Check all employees and their knowledge of HIPAA on a consistent basis
- Protect all private information electronically with safeguards, including health care proxies
- Maintain or meet with a HIPAA Safety Officer on a regular basis to ensure all electronic records are properly guarded
- Know who is accessing personal information, why, and when
- Assign logins and other safety guards to all employees
- Review all systems for accuracy and safety on a regular basis
- Keep patients informed on any changes
It is the right of the health care facility or business to:
- Obtain patient information to keep files up to date
- Ask for a health care proxy to discuss a patient’s care with a designated family member or friend
- Contact a patient or proxy using a predetermined method (phone, email, etc.)
- Share information with other healthcare professionals, with the patient’s permission
- Share information with other healthcare professionals for the purpose of referrals
What Does this Mean for Vancouver Home Health Care Agency?
The HIPAA rules apply to the Vancouver Home Healthcare Agency because the Agency gathers personal information for electronic files. The nurses and other medical professionals who enter the home are bound by HIPAA laws to keep all personal information private.
The Vancouver Home Healthcare Agency will gather specific information, which is protected under the HIPAA policies, along with future information regarding healthcare progression or treatment. Any information gathered by Vancouver will be confidential and protected not only under the laws of HIPAA but the policies of Vancouver Home Healthcare.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.