Re: [Histonet] HIPPA rules and fax transmittals going to wrong person

From:Victor Tobias

We had an incident where a patient report went to a Barnes and Noble 
bookstore. At the time of the incident many users had access to our 
database for inputting new referring physicians. It is very easy to make 
a typo and the fax is going who knows where. The bookstore contacted us 
regarding the incident. We confirmed that we had their fax number in our 
database. An incident report was filed with risk management. Since the 
incident, we have restricted access to our database. Our facility 
recommendation is to verify fax numbers quarterly. With our staffing 
levels this is not feasible. We do send out annual verifications, that 
whoever signs the form is stating the fax number is correct and the 
machine is in a secure location. We will make several attempts to get 
the verification back. If there is no response then we will stop faxing 
to them and send a print copy through the mail. We have custom reports 
created to query the database when a physician is listed on a current 
case and their fax verification is more than a year old. Our facility 
policy states that a reasonable effort will be made to verify a fax 
number. What happens when a doctors office calls and asks for a copy of 
a patient report? We document in the database who we sent a copy of the 
report to.


Georgia Stewart wrote:

>Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone
>In this era of HIPPA rules and regulations in the United States, I have not seen any comment on HIPPA as it relates to fax transmittal's of reports that might go to the wrong person/facility.  If a report goes to the the wrong person/facility, isn't this is a breach of patient confidentiality covered by HIPPA?  How are you handling faxs that go, or might go, to the wrong person/facility?  
>Appreciate your comments.
>Georgia Stewart, BS, HTL
>Histonet mailing list

Victor Tobias
Clinical Applications Analyst
University of Washington Medical Center
Dept of Pathology Room BB220
1959 NE Pacific
Seattle, WA 98195
206-598-7659 Fax
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