Incidential Uses and Disclosures
- Are physicians and doctor's offices prohibited from maintaining patient medical charts at bedside or outside of exam rooms, or from engaging in other customary practices where the potential exists for patient information to be incidentally disclosed to others?
- Is a covered entity required to prevent any incidental use or disclosure of protected health information?
- May physicians offices use patient sign-in sheets or call out the names of their patients in their waiting rooms?
- Can health care providers engage in confidential conversations with other providers or with patients, even if there is a possibility that they could be overheard?
- A clinic customarily places patient charts in the plastic box outside an exam room. It does not want the record left unattended with the patient, and physicians want the record close by for fast review right before they walk into the exam room. Will the HIPAA Privacy Rule allow the clinic to continue this practice?
- Are covered entities required to document incidental disclosures permitted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, in an accounting of disclosures provided to an individual?
- A hospital customarily displays patients' names next to the door of the hospital rooms that they occupy. Will the HIPAA Privacy Rule allow the hospital to continue this practice?
- Do the HIPAA Privacy Rule's provisions permitting certain incidental uses and disclosures apply only to treatment situations or discussions among health care providers?
- May mental health practitioners or other specialists provide therapy to patients in a group setting where other patients and family members are present?