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My Trip to the Clinic and Protecting Patient Privacy

Written by Karen Pursch, Director, Patient Privacy Solutions

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One internal value that has always been strong at Iatric Systems is that our Founder and CEO, Joel Berman, cares for his “family” by providing the best healthcare insurance and wellness plans possible.

If you knew me personally, you would know that I hate going to the doctor’s office, and probably most of us feel that way, too. Iatric Systems just signed up for a new wellness program, and the incentive to participate hit home with me — a financial incentive was applied!

At this point in time, you are probably wondering what this blog post has to do with protecting patient privacy — I promise, this story does have a very important tie in. To get started with the wellness program, I was required to get a biometric screening (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.). I know that I am diverging with this story, but please bear with me. I decided to go to a Clinic for this test, which is located inside of a grocery story — perfect for me! Far away from a doctor’s office or hospital. Before I go further, I just have to mention that things have changed since I last got checked. Now, they draw your blood through your finger and all your blood work can be checked in less than five minutes, without having to go out to a lab, very cool.

Unknown to the nurse, as she was doing all the tests on my body, I was conducting a test of my own — was she protecting my personal information? Unfortunately, the test results showed we both had room for improvement. Here are my test results with the nurse practitioner:

  • The nurse made a mistake on my paperwork and tossed the paper with my personal information in the nearby trash can.
  • When I left the office, I noticed that the nurse put all my paperwork in a stack off to the side, but not in a folder.

Since I am the Product Marketing Manager for Iatric Systems Patient Privacy Solutions, I am aware of the latest privacy breaches occurring with insurance companies, business associates, and hospitals. What I didn’t expect to find is that these little clinics are the most exposed.

A maintenance person could easily go in the trash and steal my personal information. The next person that goes into the office could easily sneak a peek at my paperwork, and I would be embarrassed forever that they saw my true weight.

In all seriousness, there are 1,000 CVS Minute Clinics, 400 Walgreen Walk-in Clinics, and 155 Kroger’s Little Clinics. This is a market that we need to educate and help protect our patient privacy.

This month, we just went into partnership with MindLeaf, a healthcare compliance solution provider with deep expertise in patient privacy with small clinics and doctors' offices. They are working on delivering their services along with Iatric Systems Security Audit Manager to educate and protect patient privacy in smaller doctors offices.

I believe with our experience in helping small and large hospitals protect patient privacy, we can apply these same principals to small clinics.

Download recent articles about WVU

A customer of ours at West Virginia United Health System (WVU) protects patient privacy by implementing policies, procedures, and technology with a strong culture of trust. Review these articles, reports, and case studies to learn the steps you can take to ensure patients' trust at your place of work, whether it is at a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital.

 

Topics: West Virginia United Health Systems, patient privacy, patient privacy monitoring, patient privacy monitoring in clinics

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