HIPAA Access Reports Could Aid Malpractice Attorneys

Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media , August 1, 2011
So could a lawyer use the following argument?

Dr. Smith only accessed Jane Doe's record once prior to her damaging surgery. That is not enough time spent researching the patient's condition before operation.

"I suppose that it's possible," Greene says. "It may depend on whether the access log tracks the user action."

For instance, Green presents the following scenario:

Dr. Smith only accessed the record once, but what the access report does not reflect is that he downloaded the file to his encrypted portable device and then spent a substantial amount of time reviewing it.

Covered entities should reasonably limit access to electronic PHI, Greene says, and would be well served to maintain documentation of why particular persons and positions have access.

For example:

John Doe accessed your record, but he is permitted to do so because his position requires him to access patient records to ensure that patients are receiving high quality services.

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