Here are a few simple ways to test your office for patient confidentiality:
- Sit in the patients' waiting area and listen to the front desk. Can you hear discussions of patients' financial status or medical conditions?
- Walk throughout the office. Do you see any open charts at a nurses' station where patients may see them inadvertently?
- Are there loose papers in your medical charts that may fall out and be seen by unauthorized personnel?
- Does your policies and procedures manual address patient confidentiality and consequences should a breach occur?
Your policies and procedures manual also should address these areas of interoffice confidentially:
- Business records,
- Personnel matters, and
- Staff performance issues.
If you need help in addressing problems associated with patient or interoffice confidentiality, TMA Practice Consulting can help through an operations assessment or development of a custom policy and procedures manual. You also can purchase a Medical Office Policy and Procedure Manual template from the TMA Bookstore.
Content reviewed: 3/26/2007
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