With new technological innovations, paper medical records transformed into electronic formats. But although accessing information became more convenient with this new format, a tradeoff was created. Though health-care providers and practitioners in the US follow a standard procedure when it comes to protecting the privacy of these individuals with regard to their information, with the changing of systems, more loopholes were inevitably created.
The Congress acknowledged the inadequacy of health care information systems and implemented the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that generated clear lines on the release and use of individuals’ health records and allows the individuals in question more control over their own health information (CDCP, 2003).
With HIPAA, covered entities are assigned to facilitate individuals’ health information. The individuals can access their information from them and these covered entities and their business associates are obligated to give them an accounting of the disclosures that were made with their information. Individuals must also be provided with a written notice of the entities’ privacy practices, an opportunity to request amendments of the records and an option to limit the use or disclosure of their information. However, covered entities not obliged to agree to restrictive requests. But if they agree, their compliance with what the client restricts them to do is a given except in cases of emergency (OCR, 2003). Individuals also can request alternative methods of communicating information (TWC, 2004). They can deviate from the usual method of access if they think that there would be risks involved, without being required to prove it (OCR, 2003).
Consent is one thing that is very essential in this Act; it is actually the thing that prevents mal-users from abusing a person’s information. But even with this, there are instances that specific... [continues]
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