The media outlets have been on fire with the news of 50 employees terminated from a Chicago area hospital for viewing a celebrities PHI. There is a very old saying that curiosity killed the cat. Curiosity can also cause you to lose your job, face criminal charges, court cost, fines & even jail time.
Things to Consider before viewing or accessing PHI!
Do you have a specific need to look up this information? Employees may access PHI only when necessary to perform their job-related duties! It makes no difference who or why. This includes a celebrity, yourself, family, friends & coworkers. Just because you have the access, it’s not ok to view PHI.
I did not know that isn’t an acceptable response or reason. It’ll never hold up in court when it comes to a HIPAA violation! They say 90% to 95% of all breaches occur due to under-educated or un-educated staff. This is why it’s so important to share this information over & over & over. However, some people simply do something anyway!
Some things to think about: Did your employees receive initial training & overviews of HIPAA, organizational policies & procedures, etc. How often do they get a refresher/reminder? Does your organization use newsletters or educational posters? Do you have 6 years’ worth of training records? Do you have a current Privacy & Security Risk Assessment on file? Has it been reviewed, & progress notes made?
MD Technology Services, LLC is available to assist with Risk Assessments, Policy & Procedure reviews, Newsletters & educational posters, or HIPAA awareness overviews. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.