HIPAA Policy Overview

Statement of Intent

At Jackson Hospital, your privacy matters. We follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to safeguard your medical information. HIPAA ensures that your health records remain private and are only shared with your authorization or as required by law.

Responsibility of Hospital Employees

Our dedicated staff members are responsible for keeping your medical information confidential. Whether it’s your admission, diagnosis, or treatment, we treat all aspects of your health as highly confidential. We follow federal and state laws to protect your privileged information.

Adherence to HIPAA Requirements

Every employee at Jackson Hospital is trained to follow HIPAA guidelines. We provide ongoing instruction to ensure that your health information is handled with care and responsibility. This includes understanding when and how to disclose medical information.

Authorization for Release of Medical Information

If your medical information needs to be shared, we follow strict guidelines:

  • Valid Authorization Requirements: Before sharing your medical data, we require a signed authorization form. This form includes specific details about what information will be shared, who is authorized to access it, and for what purpose. This helps ensure that your information is only used appropriately.
  • Employee Compliance: Our employees are trained to comply with these authorization requirements. Your privacy is our priority, and we take every step to protect it.

Patient Information Disclosure

At Jackson Hospital, we understand that discussing your information is sensitive. We respect your right to decide who should have access to your health records:

  1. Discussing Patient Information: We don’t share your medical details with just anyone. Only those who have a valid reason and your permission can access your information.
  2. Competent Patient’s Role: If you’re competent to make healthcare decisions, you can determine who has access to your information. We respect your choices, and your consent is essential.
  3. Use and Disclosure for Notification: In certain situations, we may need to share your information for notification purposes. However, this is always done following strict HIPAA guidelines.
  4. Authorization Questions Resolution: If there are any questions about who can access your information, we have a process in place to resolve them, involving supervisors and our Risk Management team if needed.

Handling Inquiries and Requests

When it comes to inquiries about patients, we follow these procedures:

  1. Inquiries to Information Desk, Nursing Staff, and Medical Center Staff: We start by explaining our confidentiality policy. Then, we follow specific guidelines when handling inquiries about patients with unique needs, like psychiatric or substance abuse patients.
  2. Visitor Inquiries: For visitors asking about sensitive information, we ensure proper verification and patient approval. We respect your privacy and follow your directives.
  3. Handling Inquiries for Bed and Critical Care Patients: In emergencies, we may need to share information without patient authorization, but only when it’s in the patient’s best interest. This is documented and closely monitored.
  4. Inquiries for All Other Patients: For all other patients, we provide limited information about their condition and location, respecting their privacy.

Employee Training and Orientation

Our employees are thoroughly trained on patient confidentiality. They understand the importance of HIPAA and are required to follow it:

  • Instruction and Advice to Employees: During orientation and annual evaluations, we educate our employees on our confidentiality policy. They are asked to sign a Notice of Confidentiality Requirements form to ensure they understand their responsibilities.
  • Refusal to Sign Notice of Confidentiality Requirements: If an employee refuses to sign, it’s documented, but we make sure they still adhere to our confidentiality policies.

Facsimile Transmission of Health Information

We use facsimile machines to transmit health information only in specific situations:

  • Criteria for Facsimile Transmission: We only use fax for urgent patient care, third-party payer requirements, or physician requests. We ensure that it’s necessary and follows HIPAA guidelines.
  • Sensitivity of Health Information: Sensitive health information, like mental health or substance abuse, is transmitted through secure methods like regular mail or messenger services unless there’s a compelling need to fax.
  • Authorization for Facsimile Transmission: We require proper authorization for faxing patient information unless it’s a medical emergency. In emergencies, information is shared for patient care.
  • Secure Handling of Faxes with PHI: We take precautions to ensure faxes with protected health information (PHI) are handled securely. They are placed in confidential locations upon delivery, and efforts are made to prevent transmission errors.

Your privacy matters at Jackson Hospital. We take HIPAA seriously to protect your medical information. Our staff is trained to ensure that your information remains confidential and is only shared when necessary and with proper authorization. If you have any questions or concerns about HIPAA or your privacy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Your health is our priority, and so is your privacy. We’re here to provide the best care while safeguarding your confidential medical information.