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In This Issue:
More Q & AHIPAA Resources—Available On-line
As many staff know, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) goes into effect on April 14. With the new mandate, many questions may arise. The following is a sampling of some frequently asked questions and answers.
Q: How will patients receive their privacy notice as required by HIPAA? A: BWH patients presenting in Admitting, ED registration, Registration and physicians' offices will be handed the BWH privacy notice by front-line staff and asked to sign the privacy notice acknowledgement form. The acknowledgement formwill be filed in the patient's medical record.
Q: How can cliniciansfurther ensure patientprivacy at BWH?A: Speak quietly when discussing a patient's condition with family members in a waiting room or other public area; avoid using patients’ names in public hallways and elevators or discussing patient information in the Cafeteria; secure
patient information within offices and file areas; turn computer screens inward, out of public view when possible.
Q: Is announcing patient names over the BWH public announcement system permitted?A: Yes, however announcing “will patient Mary Smith please return to the Cardiology Clinic” is not appropriate. A more appropriate announcement would be “will Mary Smith please report to the 75 Francis Lobby Information Desk for an important message.”