Confidentiality of Information - General Issues
It is the policy of ProHealth Care Moreland Surgery Center to maintain an individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality of information. Information known or contained in the patient's medical record (known as protected health information) shall be treated as confidential and will be released in appropriate circumstances only with the written consent of the patient or legal guardian. Information concerning patients, visitors and staff shall be managed with the highest degree of appropriateness and confidentiality, pursuant to organization wide policies and procedures.
- All persons employed at the surgery center having access to information concerning patients, such as volunteers, facility staff members and physicians must hold all information in strict confidence, and shall abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.
- Information concerning patients which may be considered ordinary facts and necessary for planning of specific care and services, will be handled with professional discretion and on a "need to know” basis.
- Information regarding physicians, staff members or volunteers is to be relayed to others as appropriate to the related job function or task and/or to facilitate patientcare and services only. Information regarding physicians, staff members or volunteers is to be kept on a professional level, and only discussed in relationship to the individual’s purpose and function within the institution.
- Requests for patient information will be directed to Business Office. Disposition of such requests will be in accordance with the facility's established policy and procedure for Release of Information and pursuant to the HIPAA regulations.
- Advances in technology will be reviewed as these are made available to the institution, to determine if these advances can be employed to improve privacy and confidentiality practices.
- At no time shall staff members, volunteers, or others associated with The Surgery Center, who have access to confidential patient or facility information, speak with the news media, or others outside the facility, without prior approval from facility administration. All encounters with the news media should be directed to administration.
- All staff will be educated and trained about the requirements for information privacy and confidentiality appropriate for each level of employee to carry out his/her healthcare function within the facility. Education and training includes orientation, initial education and any ongoing education and training necessary related to changes with this organization’s information confidentiality and privacy practices.
- Enforcement of the principles of this policy will be monitored through the combined efforts of the Executive & Medical Director and the contracted Information Systems team. Violations of this policy will be conducted with quarterly reports submitted to the Quality Improvement Committee and Governing Body.
- Outcomes from monitoring activities will be analyzed to determine if improvement scan be made in privacy and confidentiality practices.