Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA was established in 1996 by Congress to protect patient information and how it is used. This act gives patients more control over how their information is used and gives them access to their own medical records (MedTerms, 2012). HIPAA is a huge part of health care. All healthcare providers use HIPAA regulations. It basically dictates how health information will be used by healthcare providers. Patients must be made aware of their rights under HIPAA and sign consent for the use of any information.

Electronic medical record EMR or electronic medical records is medical information that is electronic. For example instead of using paper charts hospitals can use a computer system to keep track of patient care. This information would of once been put on paper which may be incomplete or hard to read. Electronic medical records or EMR are becoming more popular among healthcare providers. It is a better way of keeping more accurate health information about a patient.

Many hospitals and private practices are using this type of medical records system to keep track to the care provided to each patient. Electronic health recordAn electronic health record is similar to an electronic medical record in some ways. It contains more information however. The information contained in a patient’s health record can be shared with other providers to provide information such as allergies, and current medications if the patient is unable to communicate what they are. Electronic health records are used in health care to provide a high level of care to patients.

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By using a HER, providers can look in a computer system and find out information about a patient and their prior testing, diseases and other medical history. Personal health record A personal health record is kept by a patient or someone helping to care for the patient. The information in a PHR is similar to that of an HER but the patient controls what information goes in the system. Patients can update their own PHR to keep it current (Medicare. gov). Many providers and health plans offer PHRs. It can help to avoid repeat testing and procedures.

It can be set to alert a patient when a prescription needs filled or when an appointment is upcoming. This type of record can be very beneficial to patients as well as providers. It can provide life saving information in an emergency situation just like an EHR. Computerized provider order entry systemA computerized provider order entry system is designed to take the place of the paper based system that has been in place for many years. This computerized system will make ordering tests and other procedures easier for the physicians as well as clearer for those performing the testing.

It can help to catch repeat testing. It can also be set up to monitor medication orders and alert to any possible interactions. At this time only a small number of hospitals implement this system fully. The benefits could be extreme. Being able to catch a medication error before it has an effect on a patient will be a huge advantage. Unique patient identifier A unique patient identifier is any information such as a social security number that can be used to identify a patient. Unique patient identifiers are important healthcare.

When entering data on a patient that for instance has the same last name as another patient knowing unique information to help identify one patient from another is very important (Alemi, Loaiza, 2007).. Entering the wrong information into the wrong patient file can cause many issues. Protected health information Protected health information is all information laid out in the guidelines set by HIPAA. It includes any and all information that may identify a patient. Any information obtained by a provider regarding conditions past or present that can be used to identify a patient are protected (Wager, Lee, 2009).

All covered entities in health care must uphold the standards set in place by HIPAA to safeguard all patient’ protected health information. Health care staff must make sure to properly use this information as it is protected by the Privacy Act Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services is a federal agency formally known as Health Care Financing Administration is responsible for the overseeing of federal medical insurance programs. The CMS can be beneficial to any health care organization.

Health care organizations can become accredited through this agency which is required for reimbursement of some payers. It also gives an organization a bit of an edge over another non-accredited organization (Wager, Lee, 2007). Covered entities Covered entities must comply with HIPAA regulations. Those defined as covered entities are; healthcare providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses (Wager, Lee, 2007). Health care organizations are covered entities under HIPAA; therefore they are required to maintain the high standards set forth in the regulations.

All covered entities must abide by the guidelines and agree to uphold them. Health information exchange Health information exchange refers to the electronic exchange of health information used to treat or diagnose a patient. Implementing a system to electronically exchange health information is going to be a universal occurrence. Health care organizations can use this type of exchange to better care for patients and consult with other physicians who specialize in certain areas. References

Definition of HIPAA, MedicineNet, 2012, retrieved on October 18, 2012 www. medterms. com/script/main/art. asp? articlekey=31785 Personal Health Records (PHRS), Manage your Health, Medicare Retrieved on October 19, 2012, www. medicare. gov/… health/personal-health-records/personal-health-… Alemi, F. , Loaiza, F. , & Vang, J. (2007). Probabilistic master lists: integration of patient records from different databases when unique patient identifier is missing. Health Care Management Science, 10(1), 95-104.


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