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Measures to Protect Private Health Information

A memo was recently sent to your office staff regarding the importance of securing protected health information (PHI). Because of the recent concern, your office manager has asked you to help with a special project to ensure the security of PHI. To accomplish this task, consider the following:

Identify four ways to ensure that PHI is kept secure.
Discuss physical, electronic, and positional protection strategies for the office and the value of each.
For each way listed, give an example of how not implementing these precautions could negatively effect the office.

Solution Preview

Four ways to keep PHI secure are:

1. Keep all electronic records password protected, for access by authorized personnel only

2. Keep records processing or data entry work stations private and way from access of patients

3. Avoid leaving voice messages about specific health care issues on voice mail or answering machines

4. Avoid discussing patients' health issues or disclosing information in the reception area, where others could hear

Physical security of PHI means that all places where patient records are kept, such as on computers and in file cabinets, are locked when appropriate ...

Solution Summary

The analysis provides measures on how to keep patient health information private, in the health care setting. It suggests various measure health care staff should take, based on the setting and whether the information is located in electronic records or is a part of discussion between health care staff and patients. Access and precautions for securing information are discussed as well.