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Management of Patient Health Records (Essay Sample)

the task comprised two parts. the firts part involved discussing issues of liabilities in healthcare, starting with assessing recent stories on the breach of patient confidentiality. the second part focused on regulatory agencies and their regulations, especially HIPAA. This part also required a discussion of documentation guidelines designed to address issues surrounding the breach of patient confidentiality. source..
Management of Patient Health Records Student Name University Course Professor Name Date Management of Patient Health Records Part 1: Liability in Healthcare Summary of Breach of Patient Confidentiality Stories Today, the news media feature multiple stories regarding incidences of a breach of patient confidentiality resulting from either negligence or intentional acts. In many stories, the violations emanate from unauthorized access to patients’ protected health information. On February 2, 2023, the HHS released a press briefing highlighting that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled for $1.25 million with Banner Health for a cybersecurity hacking incident that affected approximately 3 million people (HHS, 2023). A hacker accessed protected health information, including patient names, addresses, social security numbers, clinical details, claims data, lab results, clinical information, and dates of birth. Healthcare organizations are held responsible for assessing cybersecurity risks and effectively mitigating them, which explains why OCR fined Banner Health for this breach. The most interesting aspect of this story is that an entire organization is charged with negligence in safeguarding patient data. In essence, the organization was expected to prevent the cyberattack, and the failure to do so is considered corporate negligence. OCR places a duty on Banner Health, and the incident constitutes a breach. Unauthorized access to personal information causes harm to patients, further justifying why a successful cyberattack is deemed a violation of HIPAA Security Rules. While Banner Health faces an external threat, other firms face internal human errors that cause the breach. For example, Vesty (2023) story tells of a leukemia patient receiving a notification from NHS Lothian that a staff member inappropriately accessed his information and that of over 90 patients. Police Scotland was investigating the breach, but the patient could not receive details of its extent and the risk to which he was exposed. Liability in Healthcare Liability in healthcare emanates from the negligent actions of the organizations’ employees. For example, the story of Banner Health implied that employees responsible for cybersecurity acted negligently, which allowed hacking to occur. Healthcare liabilities often fall under two types. The first type is the liability for the negligence of hospital employees, which aligns with the concept of vicarious liability in personal injury law. In this category, employees can be held liable for their negligence. Such a provision implies that a hospital can be responsible for the malpractices of its staff members. The second type is the hospital’s liability for harm caused by the mistakes of the facility’s administration. For instance, a firm may be negligent in hiring and supervising employees or fail to repair and maintain equipment. In the example of Banner Health, the firm’s administration acted negligently in its cybersecurity efforts. The rationale is that the administration must ensure that a breach of patient confidentiality does not occur, which means implementing the necessary risk mitigation mechanisms. Healthcare liability has multiple legal implications. A tort of negligence often seeks to compensate injured patients, offer corrective justice, or deter negligence. In the Banner Health story, the fines paid by the firm provided a corrective justice and discouraged negligence by making the firm more proactive in safeguarding patient health information. In the NHS Lothian story, the culpable employee can expect legal action, and the hospital could be found negligent for allowing such unauthorized access. Legal healthcare liability can be an effective mechanism for ensuring improper disclosure of patient health information does not occur. Part 2: Healthcare Regulatory Agencies Importance of the Agency - HHS The Health and Human Services (HHS) is an agency established to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans through fostering a sound and sustained advances in the sciences underlying public health, social services, and medicine. Therefore, the importance of this agency is manifested through multiple programs designed to ensure the provision of essential human and health services, often targeting vulnerable populations. In prevention and wellness programs, the HHS provide resources for individuals to achieve specified health objectives, including healthy eating, exercise, and routine health screenings and vaccinations. Other programs focus on health rights, health insurance, and social services. HHS is important because the agency protects the public from health risks, prevents disease and disability, and promotes healthy behavior. Comparing Documentation Guidelines: Mental Health and Medicare/Medicaid Services Documentation guidelines from HHS regarding health records often echo the regulatory frameworks governing health records. For example, HHS has published guidelines for managing health records regarding Medicaid and Medicare transactions. Another document offers guidelines regarding managing patient mental health records and compliance with such regulations as HIPAA. In the first guideline, the HHS emphasizes the need to protect patient data from the Medicare and Medicaid transactions. In essence, these guidelines focus on the insurance aspect of healthcare, where the insurers manage patient data. The guidelines include documentation errors and third-party additional documentation requests. Lastly, the guidelines outline certification procedures for the documentation. The second guideline focuses on the HIPAA privacy rules regarding sharing information on mental health. The HHS works closely with OCR to assure patients privacy rights and protections regarding their health information. The documentation guidelines are built on frequently asked questions about HIPA and mental health, which address how the health organizations should gather, access, and share p...
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