Standards for Privacy of Protected Health Information

Standards for Privacy of Protected Health Information

According to the federal law named the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” (HIPAA), you have rights concerning the use of individually identifiable health information. Only individuals with a legitimate “need to know” may access, use or disclose patient information. Protected health information may be released to other covered health-care providers without patient authorization if used for treatment, payment, health-care operations or for public good purposes as permitted by state and federal laws. Disclosures of protected health information for uses and disclosures outside treatment, payment and health-care operations require patient authorization.

While receiving care in the hospital, you may ask that your name not be included in the hospital directory, which means that people asking for you will be told “I have no information about a patient by this name.” If you want to receive deliveries of cards and flowers, then you will need to have your name included in the hospital directory. If you include your name in the hospital directory, your name will appear on a list for clergy members of your faith. For a listing of other HIPAA privacy rights, please refer to the Notice of Privacy Practices that was given to you at registration time.

At Palomar Health, we promote family-centered care. However, we recognize the delicate balance between keeping your friends and family updated while also maintaining your right to privacy. It is important that you inform us of the names of those you want included in discussions regarding your care. It is always wise to name a person to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you were to become unable to do so. Formal paperwork to identify this spokesperson is called a “durable power of attorney” for health-care. In the absence of formal paperwork, your verbal consent to share information with others will help us maintain confidentiality while giving your family updates with your permission.

If You Have a Question or Concern

Palomar Health recognizes that each patient has the right to voice concerns or complaints about his or her care and to have those complaints reviewed, and, whenever possible, resolved. Concerns or complaints can be voiced to any staff member. Department heads, directors, managers and supervisors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist in resolving your concerns or complaints. They can be reached by dialing “0” for the hospital operator.