Keeping Health Information Secure

Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP

August 20, 2019

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Question

What are some common tips for keeping health information secure?  

Answer

Social Media: Do not post any patient information or patient photos on any social networking sites.  
Secure Faxing:  Confirm the fax number before dialing. Program frequently dialed numbers into the fax machine. Avoid manual dialing, which may lead to misdirected transmissions. Locate the fax machine in a secure work area. 
Safe Emailing: Confirm the accuracy of the email address. Don’t open, forward, or reply to suspicious emails.  Delete spam. 
No texting of PHI: Texting of patient health information is not allowed, for example: “John Smith on 3rd floor needs skilled PT eval”.
Safe Internet use: Don’t download unknown or unsolicited programs.  Accessing sites with questionable content often results in spam or release of viruses. 
Password Protection: Don’t share your ID or password. Create a strong password of at least 8 characters, with at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, a number, and a punctuation mark.
Conversations:  Discuss a resident’s health information in a private area, only with the resident, the resident’s family, and other healthcare providers involved in treatment. Avoid discussions in elevators or lobbies where others could overhear.
Therapy Department Security: Use locked cabinets/file rooms and limit access to therapy records. 
Discarding of Papers:  Don’t discard papers and other records with PHI in trash bins or unsecured recycle bins.  Shred, or place in secured shredder bins. 
Computer Security:  Log off your computer when done, or if you walk away, even for a few minutes. Don’t install  programs unless approved by IT Support. 
Know where you left your paperwork: Check printers, faxes and copiers when you are done using them. Ensure paper charts are returned to the appropriate area.   
Removal of Records: Don’t remove documentation (paper or electronic records) from the facility for any reason, except copies if needed for invoices and as requested by government agencies, fiscal intermediaries and carriers.
Storage of Records: Maintain records in a secure area that is not available for public view and access.
Building Access: Do not share keys or codes to enter the facility. Immediately report lost or stolen cards, keys or badges. Do not allow others to enter a secure facility area by letting them walk in behind you.
Verification of Requests Related to PHI: Verify with facility staff the identity of any person or organization requesting access to a patient’s PHI. The facility is responsible for determining the person’s authority to have the PHI requested.
Sharing of PHI with an Authorization: Don’t disclose a patient’s PHI to any outside entity, unless the facility has obtained written authorization if required, and given Select Rehabilitation permission to disclose the information.
Disclosure of PHI to Friends and Family Members Involved in a Patient’s Care: When the patient is present and also has the capacity to make healthcare decisions, give the patient an opportunity to agree or object to the disclosure of PHI to friends or family involved in the care, before the disclosure occurs.
 

 


kathleen d weissberg

Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP

Kathleen Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, in her 25 years of practice, has worked in adult rehabilitation, primarily in long-term care as a clinician, manager, researcher, and most recently as Education Director with Select Rehabilitation where she oversees continued competency and education for close to 12,000 therapists. In her role, she conducts audits and provides denials management and quality improvement planning training for more than 700 LTC sites nationwide. She also conducts compliance, ethics, and jurisprudence training to therapists.  Kathleen has authored several publications that focus on patient wellness, fall prevention, dementia management, therapy documentation, and coding/billing compliance.  

 


Related Courses

Supervising Assistants, Students, and Aides: Upholding Your Ethics in a Challenging Health Care Environment
Presented by Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Course: #2545Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'I appreciated information/examples provider related to a variety of PT practice sessions, particularly including student supervision'   Read Reviews
This presentation will review the definitions of supervision as well as APTA and AOTA guidance related to supervising assistants, students, and aides in various healthcare environments. Real examples of common supervisory ethical dilemmas from the field including the appropriate action steps to take in each one will be highlighted. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and occupational therapy and is therefore appropriate for PTs, PTAs, OTs and COTAs.

Restraint Reduction: Regulations, Alternatives and Therapy Intervention
Presented by Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Recorded Webinar

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Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Course: #2955Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'good information'   Read Reviews
This session will review updated regulations related to physical and chemical restraints in long-term care. Resident assessment, therapy interventions, and alternatives to restraints will be discussed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Medicare Part B Coding and Billing: For Therapy Services in Long-Term Care
Presented by Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Recorded Webinar

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Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Course: #2962Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'very relevant to me'   Read Reviews
This seminar offers an in-depth review of Medicare Part B coding and billing, including CPT coding, unit to minute conversion, appropriate use of evaluation codes, modifiers, and G codes is offered. Using multiple examples, therapists will learn how to be compliant with coding, thorough in documentation to support skilled interventions, and detailed to avoid common errors. A review of elements known to trigger medical review including coding and documentation to support the plan of care is offered and tips and strategies for successfully managing medical review will be explored. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Georgia Ethics and Jurisprudence
Presented by Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP, Brigette Cuffia, PT, JD
Recorded Webinar

Presenters

Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDPBrigette Cuffia, PT, JD
Course: #3551Level: Intermediate4 Hours
PTs and PTAs in the state of GA are required to complete a 4 hour course on jurisprudence and ethics for license renewal. This course reviews the jurisprudence and ethics components as outlined by the Georgia Board of Physical Therapy and is applicable for PTs and PTAs licensed in the state of Georgia.

Health Literacy: Effective Client Communication and Education
Presented by Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Recorded Webinar

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Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP
Course: #3177Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Very relevant information!! So many brochures I see at doctors offices are written at a level much higher than 6th grade'   Read Reviews
This session will review techniques for clear and effective communication, verbal and written communication with those from other cultures, writing and selecting easy-to-read health materials, and assessment tools to use to ensure that clients understand the therapy services provided and have the skills needed to access, understand, and use health information.