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would be affected the most if hospitals and clinics fail to be HIPAA compliant. Working in the medical field I am affected daily by HIPAA, especially in regards to patients personal health information and data. “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act PrivacyRule is the first comprehensive Federal protection for the privacy of personal health information”
(HIPAA Privacy Rule, 2007). Advancing technology has physicians and patients now experiencing the many benefits that come along with being able to have on demand access to medical information, anytime, anywhere, wherever and however it is needed. Especially with the fact that we all have the internet in the palm of our hands, not to mention all of the personal information that is hacked daily.For example, the use of EMR (electronic medical record) systems are now being used across theU.S. for all major healthcare organizations such as hospitals and clinics, however universal access to providers, payers, and other agencies across the boards is not yet in place. Bringing forth the Health Information Technology for Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) in 2009 which promotes “adoption of meaningful use of health care information and addresses privacy and security concerns associated with electronic health records and HIPAA” (Rivas, 2016). HIPAA addresses access, equity and health outcomes by giving patients the right to confidentiality and the right to access their own health records.Interview with Joan FitchettWhen I was first hired, I had to go through a week of orientation where I sat in a classroom withothers who had been hired at the same time for different departments. We learned all about Watson, the different departments within the clinic as well as the various offices we needed to be aware of such as payroll, employee health, the office of compliance, human resources, etc. Everyone in my orientation class had to be trained on HIPAA Privacy and Security during that week, and we were told we would be yearly to make sure we still remember what we learned. This training is documented and maintainedas part of our personnel files.During my interview with Joan Fitchett, who is the Director of Laboratory Services at Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, I learned a lot that I did not know in regards to the clinic and HIPAA. Ms. Fitchett told me that our Office of Compliance monitors and addresses HIPAA compliance throughout the Clinic. A few ways we do this is by:•“Notice of Privacy Practices – given to patients when they first become established at the clinic
•Authorization to release PHI – a signed consent by the patient informing the patient who may have access to PHI•Workstation and Disposal of PHI – specific guidelines of PHI residing at workstations and the appropriate use of shredding devices or bins•Fax usage – staff are to guarantee that PHI is being faxed to the person and office that legitimately is involved in the patient's treatments•Telephone policies – proper identification of who is on the telephone by asking for at least 2 forms of unique identification (date of birth, clinic number, etc)” (Fitchett, 2017).