Release of Information
Unfortunately, there is still much misunderstanding when a patient wants to get information from their medical file. Many patients don’t realize there are standard regulations that are set by governing bodies. Patients have rights under law to access their personal health information, and medical providers are not allowed to deny them those rights as long as certain conditions are upheld. However, this does not mean that medical providers are free to provide that information whenever and however patients desire. For example, a release of information should be signed before a patient is granted access to medical information.
HIM Professionals need to be aware of patient’s rights to access. Read Your Rights Under HIPAA: Your Medical Records (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to learn more.
Here is a Right-To-Access Memo PDF that discusses patient’s rights to access their information. (Optional)
Patient Access to Personal Health Information: Regulation vs. Reality
Read Patient Access to PHI to learn the differences between what is allowed by law and what commonly goes on sharing medical information with patients. (Optional)
Read the Information Governance Offers a Strategic Approach for Healthcare article about the emerging field of “Information Governance.”
Here is a video that explores the subject:
Electronic Health Records: Privacy and Security (1:55) https://youtu.be/SMUFa5amPKs
In the Release of Information Worksheet there are several scenarios where patients have asked for access to health information. Are HIM professionals authorized to provide it? And why/why not?