In the USA, the law protects medical records confidentiality. Doctors, medical receptionists and nurses are trained to ascertain that the contents remain top secret. This paper therefore details the rights of patients as regards their medical information. It also shows how to correct or amend a patient’s record. In essence, it sheds light on whether a patient can request restriction on use of his medical information as well as who should own the medical records.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives a person the right to his/her medical records. HIPAA Privacy Rule is basically a convention that gives patients the right to access, to copy, and to amend their own medical or health information (Pritts and Kudszus, 2005). Also, HIPAA guarantees an individual the right to ask for changes to his/her health records. Additionally, it gives patient a right to confidentiality when opting for certain tests. This is right to medical issues. The patient has a right to stop the nurse from making unauthorized disclosure of his/her health records. Equally, HIPAA gives a patient a right to see and get a copy of his/her medical record, have information added to the health record to make it complete and the right to file a complaint in circumstances that the rights are violated by health care provider (Pritts and Kudszus, 2005).
The patient’s record can be corrected or amended as it is warranted by the HIPAA. An individual should begin by determining the nature of error and whether it needs correction. Analyze such piece of information that has effect on patient’s diagnosis, ability to be accessed or treatment (Torrey, 2011). Patient’s health care provider’s office is then contacted to inquire for the amendment form. The third step is to make copy of medical record pages in which error is noticed (Pritts and Kudszus, 2005). A line can be made against the line in case it’s simple correction. However, for involved correction, a letter outlining reasons for correction must be written. Lastly, a copy of each of the record’s page that has been put together must be made and sent to the provider.
The patients can request restrictions on use of records. They can request restrictions on the Use and Disclosure of their Protected Health Information in writing by using the Request for Restriction on Use and Disclosures of Protected Health Information form (University Of Oklahoma, 2010).
The medical records are owned by the patient’s health care provider. They are owned by doctors and hospitals but not forever (Pritts and Kudszus, 2005). Equally, JCAHO has some link to the patient’s medical records. Composed of the private medical sector, it strives to maintain and develop high quality standards in patient’s medical records as well as in health facilities.
Amendment of Records, Right to HIPAA. (2005). Retrieved 9 September 2012, from http://privacy.med.miami.edu/glossary/xd_amendment_rights.htm
Pritts, J.D. and Kudszus, N. L. (2005). Your Medical Record Rights in South Carolina: A Guide to Consumer Rights under HIPAA. Georgetown University. Retrieved 9 September 2012, from http://www.hpi.georgetown.edu/privacy/stateguides/sc/sc.pdf
Rouse, M. (2010). Joint Commission. Retrieved 9 September 2012, from http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/The-Joint-Commission
Torrey, T. (2011). How to Correct Errors in your Medical Records. Retrieved 9 September 2012, from http://patients.about.com/od/yourmedicalrecords/a/howtocorrect.htm