HIPAA Rules for Client Privacy

HIPAA states that patients have the right to their own information.

As long as you only have that client’s records open, which when in the home, you should only have their record open, let them sit where they can see the screen.

There are some simple things you can do to ensure client data is protected:

  • Make sure you don’t leave your laptop unattended.Locked Computer resized 600
  • If you need to walk away from it, log out of the EHR application OR
  • Close computer in the case of a laptop.
  • Use a charting application that includes an automatic log off feature if you are inactive for a set amount of time.

Reassure & Familiarize Them With the Device

Of course there may be times when you feel you are entering something that may be distressful to the client.

Then, you can still position them at an angle to you where they can’t see the screen, but don’t have a the computer between you either.

  • Reassure them that their privacy is protected.
  • Share with them why you are using the device:
    • More accurate information
    • Fast access to their medical history to assist in their plan of care
    • Ability to get their information quickly, and securely to a doctor or another provider if needed
  • If they ask you what you think about using the device, be honest.
    • If it’s new to you, tell them that – they will relate to that feeling
    • If you are enjoying it, tell them why

Bringing mobile devices into homes to chart is a great tool for clinicians and case workers.

However, portable data can pose privacy risks, but those risks are manageable, with some careful thought and planning.