Protected Health Information
When an individual visits hospital they develop a health record and this health record can contain all of your personal information. The information that is found in this health record is social security number, birthday, address, medical history, and much more. In a hospital or insurance setting this is known as protected health information or phi. The protection of an individual's protected health information is governed under HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. These are federal guidelines used to protect the people's personal health information.
What Is HIPAA
In 1996 President Bill Clinton signed the bill for the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The goals of this bill was to protect people from fraud and identity theft that was previously occurring across the healthcare and insurance industries. The bill was also supposed to modernize the flow of healthcare information. Outside of protecting people from fraud and identity theft the act is also used in other ways. The act protects workers and their families if they experience a job change or job loss. This act has five different titles and the spectrum that are covered are broad. The five titles are title one and this title protects healthcare access, portability, and renewability. Title two prevents health care fraud and abuse. Title three provides tax related health provisions governing medical savings accounts. Title four enforces group health insurance requirements and title five offsets government tax deductions for clients.
Different Forms Of Protected Health Information
Protected health information comes in different forms it can be written on paper, recorded, or provided in an image such as an x-ray. One of the most currently used imaging protected health information formats is called PACS. This stands for picture archiving and communication system. This system allows for images or x-rays to be viewed safely without the possibility of exposing protected health information between different departments in a facility or a referring physicians office. This software also allows for the X-ray process to be more fluid and results are provided faster. The picture archiving and communication system is evolutionary and basically just makes the Radiology process smoother.
The Importance Of Keeping Patient Information Organized
It is very important for people to try and keep their healthcare information organized so it won't be lost or stolen. When it comes to the older population organizing their healthcare record can strengthen their brain and have positive effects on their health. Another important reason why individuals should keep their patient information organized is because if there is some type of an emergency the records can be accessed quickly and this could give assistance to all medical personnel from the paramedics to the doctor. When people think about organizing personal health information it may seem overwhelming but there are simple steps that can be taken to make this process very easy.
The first step would be to get all your doctors under one file. You can organize them my name, specialty, or phone number. The next step will be to organize the actual medical record from the oldest to the most recent. The older documentation can be stored in a file cabinet or closet in an organized manner so if it is needed it can be easily accessed. Keep the recent health information readily available so it can be accessed instantly. The things that need to be accessed immediately and kept current are family health history, personal health history, doctor's visits, discharge summaries, lab results, legal documents, and pharmacy printouts if any medications are taken. This type of process should be done by everyone with a medical history not just did the aged population. Individuals who do this I am sure can attest that this can lead to a better quality of care doing doctor's visits or if they are hospitalized.