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The information should be complete and timely for its intended purpose. While this sounds straightforward, often it is not an easy task in the complex medical and legal environment in which the healthcare community operates.
Release of information ROI in healthcare is critical to the quality of the continuity of care provided to the patient. It also plays an important role in billing, reporting, research, and other functions.
Many laws and regulations govern how, when, what, and to whom protected health information is released. The HIPAA privacy rule contains specific requirements for the management of health information to ensure confidentiality of the individual; the rule attempts to balance the need for prompt and informed delivery of healthcare services with that of protecting the individual.
Confusion occurs when state laws are mixed into the process. There is no standard, uniform state privacy law in use by all 50 states and the territories. State laws also vary in focus e.
Some states require that additional patient authorization be obtained prior to release, some states do not. This variation in law requires that healthcare organizations develop, implement, and maintain thorough policies, processes, and procedures around ROI. It is the overall management of those HIM processes that is fundamental to confidentiality, security, and compliance in releasing protected health information.
This practice brief discusses key management principles within HIM for the release of information in areas of quality control, productivity management, turnaround times, and backlog management.
Quality Control Practices Quality control practices should be comprehensive enough to cover the release of information for any purpose.
General practices should include the prioritization of any request upon receipt. An effective process incorporates continuity of care releases within the general policy.
Whether the release is for continuity of care or a noncare-related purpose, quality control practices should address: Tracking and monitoring the request from receipt through final disposition Processing the request in terms of priority as well as efficiency Completion of the request These functions should be defined in departmental or organizational policies and should include compliance with all state and federal regulations that may apply to disclosure of health information.
The quality control approaches below are suggested critical actions that can be audited concurrently with the process flow or retrospectively over a period of time. New employees may require concurrent monitoring, while retrospective audit may provide information on training needs.
An audit may be performed on a random sample of requests to determine if critical processes described below were performed. Monitoring Receipt of the Request Organizations can monitor the receipt of a request for information to determine if staff performed at a minimum the following actions: Recorded the date and time the request was received Identified the date and time the requested information was needed Identified to whom the information was to be sent Confirmed that the request included a valid authorization Additional activities that assist in monitoring request receipt include: Date and time of receipt is stamped or written directly on the request and recorded in a log so the request can be tracked from its entry into the work queue to its exit as a completed process The minimum tracking data were entered appropriately; for example: Release of information software is designed to facilitate tracking requests through their lifecycle.
The software can aid management in monitoring staff performance, turnaround times by type of request, and other measures. The tracking log referred to here is for management of the business process, not the accounting of disclosures function of HIPAA.
Logs may also be created using simple database or spreadsheet programs. Electronic systems provide the ability to analyze data easily for monitoring purposes; for example, they can calculate turnaround time by subtracting the date of receipt from the date of actual completion.
Manual logs are appropriate in facilities that have minimal release of information activity. If manual logs are used, dividers assist in finding the request when updating its status.
Dividers may be arranged alphabetically by patient last name or by the day of the month the request was received. Both arrangements have advantages and limitations.
A name is easier to find in an alphabetic listing, but it takes more time to enter and aging requests are more difficult to identify. When organized by the day of the month received, all requests are entered sequentially on that one day. The day of receipt can be marked on the actual request as a quick reference point back to the day for updating the status of the request.
Outstanding open requests are easier to identify in this latter format. It is important to ensure that all pertinent information is captured at the time the request is logged.
Staff can flag requests for continuing care to distinguish them from the other types of requests routinely received, such as third-party payer, legal, and research requests. Staff should prioritize requests by the date and time needed as they receive them.
Requests for continuity of care require scrutiny in order to assign their appropriate placement in the priority queue. When this information is contained in the body of the request, it can be recorded in a consistent location to aid staff in organizing their work.
Processing the Request Key elements of quality control in the processing of requests include verifying the completeness of the request, the authority of the requestor, the identity of the patient, and the appropriateness of the information requested.The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.
The HIPAA privacy rule contains specific requirements for the management of health information to ensure confidentiality of the individual; the rule attempts to balance the need for prompt and informed delivery of healthcare services with that of protecting the individual.
The HIPAA Rules apply to covered entities and business associates. Individuals, organizations, and agencies that meet the definition of a covered entity under HIPAA must comply with the Rules' requirements to protect the privacy and security of health information and must provide individuals with certain rights with respect to their health information.
One of 15 technical routes to skilled employment, defined by the Sainsbury Review using labour market information regarding the size and nature of occupations grouped to reflect shared requirements for occupationally related skills and knowledge.
Provide details of previous experience of Early Years and Childcare service delivery, including knowledge of the Ofsted regulation and inspection framework. New providers who are unable to evidence previous experience may be offered an interview to provide detailed information about their ability to meet the specification requirements.
CHAPTER 2 APPROACHES TO ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT 43 Figure Main approaches to organisation, structure and management A framework of analysis There are, however, many ways of categorising these various approaches.