Benefits of Patient Record Management Response

Benefits of Patient Record Management Response.

Benefits of Patient Record Management Response

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond to two colleagues who are from different states in one or more of the following ways

Analyze your colleague’s post and expand with additional insight on the application of HIPAA to EMRs.

Submit a constructive critique of your colleague’s post about the ramifications of HIPAA.

Reference needed when responding.

DB 1


I think that in the use of electronics when it comes to patients medical records I think that it is beneficial “a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports” Some of the basic benefits associated with EHRs include being able to easily access computerized records” (Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H., 2011) It allows for any medical professional working with the patient to be able to access the same information without having to ask the client the same questions over and over again. While social workers can access the necessary information, they need to make sure that they are using it on only their patients. Not just looking up random people’s information because they are being nosey.

I do not think that it is acceptable for a social worker to access their own personal medical records. The information that is in these files could harm the patient’s treatment. Or cause the patient to become hostile to the person that is trying to help them get better. I just don’t think that it would be in the best interest for the social worker to get access to their own medical information

No, a social worker should not access their family members’ medical records. If the patient wanted that you to know they would tell you. The family member that is being treated has the right to determine who knows what information and if they do not want you to know then you have no right to know. Even if you may be able to easily access the information it is not appropriate.

Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H. (2011). Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk management and healthcare policy, 4, 47–55.

DB 2


Post an explanation of how the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules apply to EMRs.

In today’s day and age, with technology continuing to boom and advance, most health care providers and entities have moved from paper records to electronic medical records (EMRs), otherwise referred to as electronic health records (EHRs). Just as HIPAA privacy and security rules apply to paper records, privacy protections and security safeguards apply to EMRs as well protecting health information (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d.). According to Harman, Flite, and Bond (2012), there are three major ethical priorities for EMRs, as follows: privacy and confidentiality, security, and data integrity and availability. Regarding privacy and confidentiality, information that is shared as a result of a clinical relationship is considered confidential and therefore must be protected by only releasing patient information to others when given permission from the patient or as allowed by law or for purposes of treatment, payment, or administrative purposes as well as preserving confidentiality by ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to the information (Harman, Flite, & Bond, 2012). Regarding security rules, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the federal agency responsible for developing information security guidelines and provides guidance on securing data, while federal legislations such as HIPAA and HITECH Act mandate doing so and regardless of the type of measure an entity or provider decides to use, when using EMRs a full security program must be in place to maintain the integrity of the data, as well as a system of audit trails that must be operational as the HIPAA Security Rule requires organizations to conduct audit trails, requiring that they document information systems activity and have the software and procedures to record and examine activity in any systems that contain PHI (Harman, Flite, & Bond, 2012). Lastly, EMR systems need to address the integrity and availability of information. Integrity assures that data remains accurate and has not been altered or changed, while availability refers to ensuring availability of the information if a system is hacked or becomes overloaded, by switching to a backup program (Harman, Flite, & Bond, 2012).

Another important thing to consider is that federal law requires that doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals notify individuals of a breach, while also notifying he Secretary of Health and Human Services, and in instances where 500 or more individuals are affected, they must also notify prominent media outlets serving the state or jurisdiction in which the breach occurs (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d.).

Can a social worker access any patient’s electronic medical record? Can a social worker access his or her own electronic medical record? Can a social worker access the electronic medical record of his/her family members?

While a social worker may potentially have access to any patient’s EMR through their organizations database, they should only access the records of clients or patients in which the social worker is a part of the treatment team or involved in the care of the client. According to Harman, Flite, and Bond (2012), a critical aspect of medical record security is designating user privileges, where all users have access to the information they need to fulfill their roles and responsibilities, but that they also know that they are accountable for use and misuse of the information that they view and/or change and in addition to controlling access to health information it is encouraged that additional security measures such as extensive training and strong privacy and security policies and procedures be implemented to avoid misuse.

According to Reamer (2017), the HIPAA privacy law does not prohibit social workers or other healthcare organization employees from accessing their own records as the privacy rule actually gives individuals the right to access their own PHI, however, the organization’s policies may prohibit or regulate this as a large number of organizations have written policies in place that prohibit their employees from accessing their own EMR and PHI and instead require that their employees request access to this information through the Health Information Management (HIM) department or by logging in through a patient portal.

A social worker should not access the EMRs of their family members. In situations in which the social worker is the power of attorney for healthcare for a relative and authorized to act, then rather than accessing the information themselves they need to request to obtain the relative’s health information through proper channels.

Finally, explain the positive and negative ramifications HIPAA might have on medical social work practice in clinical settings with regard to handling EMRs.

Like with anything, there are both positive and negative ramifications that HIPAA might have on medical social work practice in clinical settings with regards to handling EMRs. A major benefit is that EMRs can be viewed by many users simultaneously and utilizes a host of information technology tools (Harman, Flite, & Bond, 2012). As pointed out by Menachemi and Collum (2011), it can create many efficiencies in the delivery of healthcare as well, such as reducing costly redundant tests by being able to securely access real-time sharing of patient information, as well as medication information so that healthcare providers don’t give an individual another medication that may be harmful. Other positive benefits of having EMRs is that the systems are backed up and therefore if a natural disaster or something occurs information can still be retrieved as well as information can be readily available if say for instance someone is in an accident and unable to explain their health history, etc. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d.). EMRs allow for more efficient care as it often provides easier and faster ways to track lab results and share progress as well as more convenient care as EMRs can also alert providers to contact individuals when it is time for certain tests or screenings, follow ups, etc. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d.). To add to the improvements in the quality of care, Menachemi and Collum (2011) point out that other advantages include a reduction in the number and frequency of medical errors, overall satisfaction among patients and providers who use EMRs and a societal perk is better being able to conduct research and achieving improved overall population health. One of the biggest noted negative ramifications lies in privacy and security concerns as well as financial issues.


Harman, L. B., Flite, C. A., & Bond, K. (2012). Electronic health records: Privacy, confidentiality, and security. Virtual Mentor, 14(9), 712-719.

Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H. (2011). Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk management and healthcare policy, 4, 47-55.

Reamer, F. G. (2017). Eye on Ethics. Retrieved from…

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Privacy, Security, And Electronic Health Records. Retrieved from…

Benefits of Patient Record Management Response

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