family practice issues and general life events

Posts tagged ‘HIPPA’

How HIPPA compliant are you?

I recently had a secret shopper come through my office.  I didn’t know I had hired one, but apparently I did.  Anyway, better than surveys this person came through and noticed every area that was not within compliance.  And many of these are in ways, that every other clinic in town does them (and most family practice clinics as well)

1. Door to the waiting room did not lock.  This we cannot help.  We wanted it to lock but due to fire code it could not.

2. Back door not locked- this was not supposed to be unlocked.  Staff was trained to turn to lock it.  Especially when during training a patient walked in the back door because the front door was locked.

3.  The check out counter.  Basically under HIPPA the check out counter is non-compliant in a clinic with more than one provider.  It might not even be compliant in a clinic with one provider if there is back up in patient’s getting prescriptions and the like.

There are a few other issues which have to be reminded to comply, but this is going to be the biggest obstacle in our current clinic.  We have plans to build a new clinic and this would actually be taken care of, but as of right now we will have to work with what we have.  We don’t have room to take the patient to a check out room to discuss any referrals or follow up appointments.

So as of today, I will have my check out person, go room to room to make their appointments and check out the patients.  It will hinder the flow, but I don’t know what else to do.  We will give her a laptop to schedule appointments in the room, since it often happens that when we try to do it prior to the patient getting to the window we get “Mondays don’t work for me” or “Can we do it _____” which I understand, but it will change things tremendously.

Except with these changes, I am sitting here wondering who is going to answer the phone.


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