Privacy tagged posts

The Ethics of Digital Mental Health

Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D.
Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Department of Health Sciences, DePaul University

While the Internet age has been in full force for nearly 30 years, it is only in the recent decade that computer technology has made its way into patients’ hands.

Read More

Readers Reveal Thoughts about HIPAA Reform in Online Survey

oncomputerDuring the month of June, Care For Your Mind explored with our readers the nuances of HIPAA regulations. Each weekly post included a short poll to assist in better understanding the views of the CFYM readership around this topic. The polls asked questions about individual privacy protection, as well as a family member’s right to be involved in a loved one’s mental health care.

Readers Reveal Thoughts about HIPAA Reform in Online Survey

CFYM readership while not self-disclosing, is positioned towards individuals living with a mood disorder, their families, and policy makers. It would be reasonable to believe that readers responding to the polls fall into one of those three categories. However, because respondents are not asked to self-disclose, one cannot not make any calculations about trends within those categories.

What can be determined from the poll results, is that further dialogue about individual privacy protection and the rights of family members to be included when a loved one’s mental health is at stake needs to continue.

Read More

Coordinating Patient Care in the HIPAA Era

drsecrestLeslie Secrest, MD
Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

In our final post discussing the effect HIPAA policy and regulations have on both individuals living with a mood disorder and their families, we look at the implications of sharing elements of mental health treatment as part of the electronic health record (EHR).

Coordinating Patient Care in the HIPAA Era

Protecting patient privacy has long been a vital, but complicated priority for mental health care providers. In guarding our patients’ privacy, we aim to defend against prejudicial or discriminatory care. We balance those concerns with the realization that a patient’s health could be jeopardized if other providers do not have access to the full health picture. Sharing elements of a mental health record is, at times, in a patient’s best interest.

With the advent of electronic health records (EHR), it has become easier to control who has access to a person’s mental health information, and who does not. For instance, the EHR system that my hospital uses allows me to restrict mental health information to only the providers that I name. Certain keywords in the notes also trigger automatic privacy settings.

Read More

How Are States Addressing Patient Mental Health Privacy?

JenniferPhotoJennifer Bernstein, JD, MPH
Senior Attorney, The Network for Public Health Law—Mid-States Region
University of Michigan School of Public Health

We continue our series on the interplay between patient privacy and families’ interest in their loved one’s care. Here, Attorney Jennifer Bernstein covers what two states are doing to allow for increased family involvement.

How Are States Addressing Patient Mental Health Privacy?
Though HIPAA is not necessarily a bar to family members obtaining information about their loved ones with mental illness, the wishes of patients are usually paramount. Some states have adopted more innovative legal provisions to help assist families and patients in both protecting privacy while improving care.

Read More

Balancing Family Rights to Know with Patient Rights to Privacy

CounselingFamily members are an inescapable fact of life for most of us—good and bad. So how do peers navigate personal decisions about their own treatment options and living a life of recovery with their family members? Today we continue our series on HIPAA with peers sharing their thoughts on the role of family members vs the right to direct their own treatment and recovery.

Balancing Family Rights to Know with Patient Rights to Privacy
It can be difficult for family members, who often have the best interest of their loved ones at heart, to provide enough space for their loved one to accept their disorder, seek treatment and build a life of recovery based on personal choice. But when speaking with individuals living with a mood disorder, many state that this is exactly what needs to happen. While it can be tempting to place oneself in a position of “knowing what’s best,” loved ones may need to recognize that they are on their own separate journey with an unknown destination.

Read More

Change HIPAA for Better Care

Nancy Sharby profileNancy Sharby

This is the second week of our series discussing HIPAA regulations with regards to mental health care. In this post, we provide a family perspective.

Good and Bad Experience with HIPAA
As a mother, I have had positive and negative experiences with HIPAA, with an example for each.

The negative event happened when my adult son was hospitalized while I was out of town. I knew he was in that particular hospital because that is where the ER told me they were sending him. His doctor, who had permission to talk with me, was the one to tell me which ER he was in. I called the hospital where I knew he was and tried to tell hospital staff about his medications. The staff person kept insisting that they could not confirm or deny that my son was at the hospital, and they refused to hear what I was telling them about his meds. I knew he was there and didn’t need them to confirm it. What I really needed them to do was to take the information about his medications. They would have it to use if he was there, and they could throw it out if he wasn’t.

Read More