Thursday, January 10, 2013

Handling HIPAA in the Emergency Room

Strategies for Nurse Managers published an article on HIPAA in the Emergency Room.  Since the Emergency Room is chaotic and stressful, following guidelines HIPAA may be harder to do. There are many ways the Emergency Room is different.  The following were some of the topics addressed addressed in the article:

  • The main priority is obviously to save the person's life in the Emergency Room. Sometimes, the patient's condition prevents them with speaking to the patient and they have to release the information to the family or responsible party
  • HIPAA also allows the doctor who is taking care of the patient to use their best judgement for the patient if the responsible party is not available at the time
  • HIPAA considers communication in the Emergency Room as "incidental communication" which they don't consider a violation. 
  • Trouble areas in the Emergency Room
In addition to the differences listed above, they also offered some "training tips" on how to handle HIPAA requirements while working in a chaotic setting such as the Emergency Room.

To view the full article, please click the following link: HIPAA in the ER: Exceptions, Suggestions for Compliance in a Chaotic Clinical Setting

For additional Medical billing and coding resources, please click here: Medical Reimbursement Billing and Coding Resources

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