Daisha Estrada is in the clinic today. While you are escorting another patient, an 85-year-old woman, out to the waiting room, you and the patient overhear the lab tech and another nurse talking about Daisha’s lab results. They are discussing her vaginal smear coming back positive for gonorrhea. As you are escorting the elderly woman out to the waiting room she asks if gonorrhea is contagious. “Those two ladies in the hall were talking about having to report that woman’s lab result to the CDC. Wouldn’t you only be contacting the CDC if it were serious…can I get it from being here today?”
1. Go to the following website, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001929.htm and read about the purpose of reporting certain diseases and illness to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Explain how the Privacy Rule applies to reporting to the CDC?
2. Describe what the healthcare workers did wrong in the short scenario provided.
3. Describe what the healthcare workers should have done differently. What would be the most appropriate action to take when wanting to discuss a patient’s health status in a place such as the clinic?
4. What information is protected by Federal Law?
Imagine you are working at a hospital. You find out that one of your friends was admitted to the hospital last night and has had surgery. Although you are not assigned to take care of your friend, she is in the unit that you work, therefore you have access to her medical record. You are in the EHR documenting on your assigned patients and decide to take a “quick look” at your friend’s chart to find out why she had surgery and how she is doing. A little later you call a family member to tell them about your friend’s surgery.
5. Discuss what was done wrong in this scenario and the possible implications and consequences. Be thorough in writing your answer.
6. One of the largest problems with healthcare information security has been, and still is, inappropriate access by authorized users. How will the current regulations help reduce or eliminate this particular problem? Provide at least one example in your answer.