Privacy & security reminder

As students return and the athletic activities increase, this is a good time to remind everyone that the privacy of all of our patients is extremely important.

We continue to work on better ways to monitor the access into patient records, and we appreciate the work you do to protect patient information. 

During the month of September we will turn on a monitoring process that will automatically flag certain accesses into patient medical records for review. Please remember that access into the medical information is only for job related responsibilities.

We take privacy violations very serious and have developed internal sanctions including termination of employment for such violations. As a reminder, the penalties under HIPAA for inappropriately accessing or disclosing information are up to one year in prison and/or $50,000. 

High profile patients may tempt more people than the average patient. Accessing or disclosing information on a high profile patient by itself is no more or less significant than any other violation. There is, however, a greater opportunity to receive some benefit from a disclosure of information on a high profile patient.

The HIPAA penalties for a violation that provides any gain to an individual increase, allowing up to ten years in prison and/or $250,000. A former employee of the UCLA Medical Center has been formally charged with violations of HIPAA laws. Other providers have also received negative publicity for disclosures of information related to high profile patients, and many of the responsible employees have been disciplined or terminated.

Finally, security of patient information is also important. Devices with patient information must also be protected including, your computer access (user name and password) should not be shared for any reason, and reasonable steps must be taken to protect the information on screens, reports, etc. 

Again, we appreciate all that you do to protect the information about our patients.  Patients should have confidence that their information will be protected, and they should be able to choose how and when their information is shared.   

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