Wiki HIPAA Concern Question


Lexington, KY
Best answers
I work for an Urgent Care Type Facility. Once patients are checked in, their chart is placed on the wall for the next available Provider. If the patient needs an x-ray, a request is sent electronically from the Provider to the Radiology Dept. My question is it a HIPAA violation for the X-ray techs to look at all the Charts to ascertain which patients the Provider will submit an x-ray request for?

Sharon Rickman, CPC
If the provider is sending an electronic notification to radiology then the techs have no reason to "ascertain" which patients will be submitted for x-rays. It's a moot point since the techs should not be accessing records for patients other than those from which PHI is needed to do their specific job. This is a "minimum necessary" issue under HIPAA.

Minimum necessary is similar to the term "need to know", as used by government organizations, such as the military. Under need-to-know restrictions, (even if one has all the necessary official approvals), one would not be given access to such information, unless one has a specific need to know; that is, access to the information must be necessary in order to conduct one's official duties.

Hope that helps!
Hi Sharon,
I have to agree with Susan and knowing you like I do, I am sure you do too. Hopefully her answer gave you the information you needed to correct this. Hope you are doing good, it is nice to see you on the forum. :)