Did you know that every 13 seconds a home intrusion is committed?  Did you know that 2,500+ cars are stolen per day? That’s almost 2 cars a minute!

The next time you leave your car in a parking lot at the store, would you be comfortable not locking your car doors?  Or the next time you leave your house, would you be comfortable not locking up your house and/or not setting your home security system?

So why is it so hard to protect patient health information?  Locking your device when stepping away from it or securing paper PHI in a filing cabinet is exactly the same thing as locking your house or your car when you walk away from it.

Most people don’t realize that a simple act of locking a device or closing down software applications prior to walking away will help prevent theft.

Protecting PHI is a professional expectation and our patients expect that their information will be kept secure and confidential.  When in doubt on whether or not to share information, always take the conservative route and do not share information, then contact your supervisor for guidance.  Or you can ask yourself this question:  Would I be okay if someone shared my personal health information or left my personal health information open and unattended?

Chances are if you don’t want people to know your information, then our patients don’t either.  Texting patient information is strictly prohibited.  Sharing patient information whether it is in written form, verbal communications, etc., must be shared within HIPAA regulations.

Ensuring you have developed strong/complicated passwords is no different than deciding between a deadbolt lock (strong security) versus a screen door lock (weak security) when securing your home.

For more information visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy



Gina Tomcsik

Director of Compliance

Privacy Officer

Functional Pathways