Kimberly A. Ford
BHS 499 Senior Capstone Project
Session 3, Module 3, SLP 3
Health Care Delivery and Cross-Cultural Health Perspectives
Dr. Robert Grice
May 6, 2018
Under federal law, rights are given to everyone over their own health knowledge. These rights provide limitations and directives on who may see and be given your data. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as the Privacy Rule, pertains to all configurations such as written, electronic, or spoken. Businesses that must abide by the Privacy Rule are called entities. Some entities that have access are: employee businesses providing health information, governmental programs, most providers that bill electronically, claim processing businesses, personal lawyers, information technology (IT) personnel, as well as companies that destruct or store medical records (U.S. Department, 2017).
There are many outside corporations not mandated to adhere to the Privacy Rule. Those include, businesses that handle life insurance, your employer, police officers, state agencies, schools, and agencies that carry workers compensation (Department of, 2017). All health data included in your health chart is protected from anyone seeing it. Entities need safeguards which prohibit improper revealing of health information, to include the minimum necessary. Without your written consent, a provider may not use or give health data to others, unless it is required by law (U.S. Department, 2017). Covered entities are mandated to restrict the level of protected health information (PHI) revealed under 45 CFR 164.512 (l) to the fewest required to fulfill the grounds for workers compensation including state, government laws, and payment reasons (HHS, 2013).
Employment records are not protected by the privacy rule, even if they contain health information. The privacy rule does not pertain to when employed by a provider. On the other hand, if you happen to be the provider, the Privacy Rule provides protection. Your employer is intitled to ask you for a doctor’s note for work purposes but may not ask your provider directly for any of your health information (HHS, 2017).
Confidentiality at work
The announcement of confidential employee information may steer to an elimination of employee trust, assurance, and faithfulness. A lack of productivity will in most cases, prevail. Several states have regulations that preside over the confidentiality and destruction of PHI to include phone numbers, internet passwords, and social security numbers (Halpern, 2010).
Established in 1990 was the Americans with Disabilities Act that mandates employee health and disability knowledge to remain private and sets restrictions for employees that are required to know for business purposes like a medical emergency, or worker limitations that are medical related. Each business needs to have a written policy that describes what confidential data is and rules that workers must adhere to, at a minimum. Recommendations to protect confidential data are that it should be filed in cabinets that lock, and or rooms that stay locked, with only essential individuals allowed access. Security system and encryption must accompany confidential data, along with strong passwords. Confidential information should be cleared of desks of personnel before working hours are over each day. Every confidential document should be marked as such. Workers must not debate confidential knowledge in public work places (Halpern Associates, 2010).
Personal property should also be part of confidentiality to include items containing money. These items should be either on each person or locked up at work. Lastly, all policies should be reviewed to ensure state laws are observed. If the confidentiality policy is going to be forceful, all hands must learn about it, with a chance to ask questions. If these policies are not adhered to, all the labor and hours it took to create it, will be for nothing. Violators should be disciplined, with a remedial process to follow. In case there is ever a confidentiality breach, having a strong policy in place, will help protect the organization (Halpern, Associates, 2010).
From a manager to a leader
It is apparent that the manager doesn’t have good management skills. It appears she spends all day behind he desk ensuring all her daily tasks are met, but oblivious to Sara being sick, and another employee apparently sick also. Sara’s persistent cough was on going unknowingly to management. Not only that, the manager didn’t notice that Sara lost a lot of weight. Does this manager not have an infection control policy and privacy/confidentiality policy? It doesn’t seem like it.
This entire situation should have had a better outcome. The manager should have spent time getting to know her employees. This lets them feel they are cared about, so they feel part of a team, instead of feeling isolated. Also, the employees will be more likely to let them know if something is wrong, or they are sick, if they know someone cares. A good manager talks to their workers and would have asked Sara about her cough early on. Sara would have confronted her. A leader of a home health agency may not be an expert but would be aware of disease signs/symptoms because of her clients working with the elderly. A leader would have checked to see which employees had a Tuberculosis skin test, and had Sara don a N95 respirator, and called the health department per protocol. A leader would have an infection control plan which gives guidance on possible TB exposure and should list a phone number to the local health department. A leader would have a privacy and confidentiality policy that is discussed in orientation, reviewed annually by all hands, and when changes are made. Each new employee needs an opportunity to ask questions about new policies, with a signature upon consent. Also, disciplinary actions and remedial actions should be the outcome, if not followed.References
Halpern, J. Associates LLC. (2010). The importance of confidentiality in the workplace. Retrieved May 2, 2018 from https://www.halpernadvisors.com/why-is-confidentiality-important/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). Disclosures for worker’s compensation. Retrieved May 1, 2018 from https://www/hhs.gov/pippa/for-professionals/privacy/guidance/disclosures-workers-compensation/index.html
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). Your rights under HIPPA. Retrieved March 26, 2018 from https://www.hhs.gov/hippa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). Employers and Health Information in the workplace. Retrieved May 1, 2018 from https://www.hhs.gov/hippa/for-individuals/employers-health-information-workplace/index.html