Stolen Health Information: All Security Mechanisms to Protect ePHI
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Stolen Health Information Case Study
HIM113- Law & Ethics in Health Information
Instructor Michelle Landis
November 29, 2012
Introduction A patient’s right to privacy is one of the most important and protected elements of healthcare today. Patient health information is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and even more so by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. “The HIPAA Privacy Rule is a key federal law governing the privacy and confidentiality of patient information.” (Brodnik, Rinehart-Thompson, Reynolds. 2012 pg. 215.) The law governing patient privacy has two goals, “to provide an individual with greater rights with…show more content… Providence Home Services violated this Security Rule in almost every way possible. The employee, while it may have been part of procedure, took ePHI from the facility and left it unattended in his car. There is no way possible that it is part of their security protocols to leave ePHI unattended. Administratively, the covered entity is responsible for ensuring that their employees are fully aware of their security protocols and that they follow them. While some physical safeguards were in place, in the form of password-protected information, not all information was password protected. This employee was in clear violation of the HIPAA Security Rule’s required components and paid the ultimate price, his job.
The importance of protecting patient’s health information is not something that can be taken lightly. As employees in the healthcare field, we are given the responsibility of protecting patient information. HIPAA has given us rules and procedures to follow that make protecting this highly classified and vital information easy, if those rules and procedures are followed to the letter. When an employee does not follow the procedures that have been given to them, they are in clear violation of these rules and should be punished.
Security Mechanisms Security mechanisms play a key role in keeping a patient’s health information safe.