Policy: A person requesting a release of patient information other than him or her self, needs to correctly identify the reasoning for the information and proper legal documents need to be completed, such as an authorization form signed by the patient. Under certain circumstances, the release of information would not need authorization due to certain federal and state statutes; these are explained in the measurement standards.
Objective: To protect patient’s individual rights to the privacy, security, and confidentiality of medical information being released to others by recording authorization information into the database with accuracy and in a timely manner. The patient’s specific authorization forms must be filed within 24 hours of admission.
1. The patient must disclose their written authorization by completing an authorization form prior to the release of patient information to a health care provider, an individual who assists a health care provider in the delivery of health care, or an agent of the health care provider. 2. If the patient decides to complete an authorization form, we are required to honor that authorization and, if requested, provide a copy of the recorded health information unless the health care provider denies the patient access to health information. 3. To be valid, a disclosure of authorization must be in writing, dated, and signed by the patient. Identify the nature of the information to be disclosed, identify the name and institutional affiliation of the person to whom the information is being disclosed, identify the provider and the patient, and contain an expiration date that relates to the patient. 4. A patient may revoke in writing a disclosure authorization to a health care provider at any time unless disclosure is required to effectuate payments for health care that has been provided or other substantial action has been taken in reliance on the authorization.
5. A health care provider or facility may disclose patient health information without the patient’s authorization in the event of the recipient needs to know the information because the provider or facility reasonably believes the person is providing health care to the patient. 6. Disclosure without authorization may also be made to federal, state, or local law enforcement authorities upon receipt of a written or oral request made to a nursing supervisor, administrator, or designated privacy official, in a case in which the patient is being treated or has been treated for a bullet wound gunshot wound, powder burn, or other injury arising from or caused by discharge of a firearm.
7. A health care provider shall maintain a record of existing health care information for at least one year following a receipt of an authorization to disclose that health care information under RCW 70.02.040, and during the pendency of a request for examination and copying under RCW 70.02.080, or a request for correction or amendment under RCW 70.02.100. 8. The authorization must be entered into the database within the first 24 hours of completion; therefore, other staff members in the facility such as providers and other members of the ROI department will know the limits to the release of that patient’s information if requested upon. State and Federal Statutes: RCW70.02.020, RCW 70.02.030, RCW 70.02.040, RCW 70.02.050, RCW 70.02.160.
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