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Journal Q&A (3/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: March 02, 1998


Q: Cellular phones are very popular and are a convenient way to increase communication. Should we place any restrictions on the use of cellular phones to discuss patient information?

A: Cellular phones operate on radio frequencies, which means anyone tuning into that f....

Protection of Personal Data -- The European View

Author: Mathews, Steve

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 1998


A new series of laws are being passed to control the processing of personal information -- including medical information -- inside the European Commonwealth. The author gives an overview of the European view of personal information and examines the implications for healthcare professionals bo....

Information Security--A Database View

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 1998



HIM professionals agree that applying the principles of information security is important in a hospital setting. But as Sharon Johnson, RRA, knows, those principles can be applied in many situations--including settings under construction. Since spring 1997, Johnson has been ....

Journal Q&A (4/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: April 02, 1998


Q: I am trying to find out if AHIMA has any position on the names and room numbers of hospitalized patients being left unattended at an information desk in a hospital lobby. If just the name and room number—no other information such as age, religion, etc.—is listed so that vi....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Carpenter, Jennifer E.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 1998


Q: I am currently employed by an organization that is implementing a long term care demonstration program for the frail elderly. I am in charge of the database for the demonstration. I'm writing policies and procedures for release of information and confidentiality and would like to ha....

Journal Q&A (5/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 1998


Q: The facility that I work for is planning to use an outside copy service. How can we be sure it will protect our patient information?

A: Start by evaluating the potential companies to ensure that they are reputable and provide quality services. Next, ask the various ....

Journal Q&A (5/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 1998


Q: I am currently employed by an organization that is implementing a long term care demonstration program for the frail elderly. I am in charge of the database for the demonstration. I'm writing policies and procedures for release of information and confidentiality and would like t....

Smart Cards for Healthcare: a Follow-up Visit

Author: Ross, Bruce

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: March 02, 2000


Smart cards are a peculiar subject when it comes to healthcare in the United States. They are viewed as everything from an up-andcoming product to an inscrutable and hard to integrate backwater technology. Today, all that is rapidly changing. As shown by its adoption by Microsoft, Sun Micro,....

Last Rights: ROI and the Deceased

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: In Confidence (newsletter) | AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: March 02, 2000


Question: Who can authorize the release of patient health information on behalf of a deceased patient?
Answer: The individual authorized to consent to the release of patient health information on behalf of a deceased patient varies by state. Usually, the personal representative of a dec....

Journal Q&A (6/00)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: June 02, 2000


Q: I work for a small physician practice. Until recently, physicians would take home patient records to dictate in the evening. Unfortunately, one of our physicians' cars was burglarized and 30 records were stolen. What should we do?
A: The loss of this information could cause problems....

Answers to Confidentiality Concerns

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: In Confidence (newsletter) | AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: July 02, 2000


Question: Who can authorize the disclosure of patient health information for a normally competent adult when that individual is unable to make informed decisions for himself?
Answer: The individual authorized to consent to the release of patient health information on behalf of a critica....

You've Got Inappropriate Mail

Author: Planchon, Don

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: July 02, 2000


The use of e-mail and Internet access as a communication and research tool is now of strategic importance to both healthcare providers and consumers worldwide. However, use, or rather misuse, of these communication tools has introduced a host of security and legal threats uncontrolled by trad....

Journal Q&A (11/00)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: November 02, 2000

Q: How long is an authorization to release information valid?
A: For the most part, federal law does not specify a length of time for which authorizations to disclose information are valid. In Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records (42 CFR, Chapter I, Part 2), the....

Smart Cards May Make Security a Non-Issue

Author: Deike, Karen

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: November 02, 2000


Smart cards have long held enormous potential for governments in managing healthcare information and delivering benefits to clients with more efficiency, less fraud, and greater customer satisfaction. But critical to gaining acceptance of the cards is the ability to assure clients that the in....

Journal Q&A (1/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 01, 2001

Q: What form must a subpoena duces tecum take in order to be valid?

A: A subpoena duces tecum commands a person to produce certain documents or evidence in court. The form that the subpoena must take to be valid is a matter of state law, but generally, a subpoena must contain the following....

Journal Q&A (1/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 01, 2001

Q: Can a healthcare facility release health information for marketing purposes?

A: There is a growing demand for and supply of health information for uses that are far removed from patient care or the payment process. It is imperative for a facility to establish a system of controls for id....

Journal Q&A (1/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 01, 2001

Q: What is the difference between confidential and nonconfidential health information?

A: Health information can be classified into two categories: confidential and nonconfidential. Confidential information is obtained during the course of a confidential relationship between a patient and....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2001


Q: What is the difference between confidential and nonconfidential health information?

Q: Can a healthcare facility release health information for marketing purposes?

Q: What form must a subpoena duces tecum take in order to be valid?

Cheryl Smith is an AHIMA practice....

From DNA to Data Privacy

Author: Fuller, Barbara P.; Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2001




Genetic research is revolutionizing healthcare by predicting diseases and revealing cures. At the same time, the information presents new challenges to HIM professionals charged with keeping this vital data from the wrong hands. Here's a look at the role genetic information is playin....

Caught in the Camera's Eye: Filming and Patient's Consent

Author: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

Source: In Confidence (newsletter) | AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: March 02, 2001


Q: Can staff of a healthcare organization, or their designated agent, film or videotape patient care activities in the Emergency Department? Does the staff have to get a patient’s consent to film or videotape their care while it is being provided?
A: Yes, to both questions. It is appropri....

Journal Q&A (5/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 2001

Q: Does the new HIPAA privacy rule require hospitals to obtain patient consent prior to sending copies of dictated reports and test results to the patient's physician?

A: Unless the HIPAA privacy rule published on December 28, 2000 (45 CFR Parts 160 through 164) is modified by the Bush ad....

Release of Information: the Basics

Author: Yaggie, Elaine

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Whether you're new to the HIM profession or a long-time expert, release of information presents perennial challenges-especially in light of HIPAA. This article brings you the basics and the latest updates.
Release of health information has been a hot topic for years. Today, more....

Sample Consent Agreement

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA sample form

Publication Date: May 02, 2001




Consent to the Use and Disclosure of Health Information for Treatment, Payment, or Healthcare Operations


I understand that as part of my healthcare, this organization originates and maintains health records describing my health history, symptoms, examination and test....

AMA Ethical Force Initiative Announced

Author: Halpert, Aviva M.

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: July 02, 2001


While the healthcare establishment waited with bated breath for the publication of the elusive HIPAA privacy regulations in December 2000, the American Medical Association (AMA) published one of the first installments of its Ethical Force Program (E-Force) privacy module.
The Ethical Fo....

Psychotherapy Notes under HIPAA

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: In Confidence (newsletter) | AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: July 02, 2001


Q: I work in a non-psychiatric facility covered by HIPAA. On occasion, a patient may receive a psychological evaluation and possibly treatment for a short period of time. Our medical record does not include a copy of the psychotherapist’s “notes,” but a report that summarizes the psychologist....

Testimony on Behalf of The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to the Privacy and Confidentiality Subcommittee of the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS)

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: AHIMA testimony and comments

Publication Date: August 22, 2001

August 22, 2001


Mr. Rothstein, members of the Privacy and Confidentiality Subcommittee, ladies and gentlemen - good morning!

I am Dan Rode, vice president for the AHIMA. On behalf of the Association, its more than 40,000 members, and myself, thank you for the opportunity....

Journal Q&A (9/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: September 02, 2001

Q: My facility's records contain a variety of psychiatric documentation including therapists' notes from their treatment sessions with patients. How can I determine what requires special protection under HIPAA? Do I need to separate some of the documentation from the medical record? Currently all p....

Managing Exceptions to HIPAA's Patient Access Rule

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2001




The HIPAA final privacy rule requires that covered entities allow individuals to access the medical and billing records maintained about them. However, the rule describes 10 exceptions. Accordingly, healthcare providers must establish a way to identify the medical and billing records....

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