Appropriate vs. inappropriate access to patient information

March 4, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

During the COVID-19 pandemic — and at all times — it is essential that the organization continues to maintain patient confidentiality.

Please be reminded that accessing information in MiChart and other electronic health record (EHR) systems in order to perform work/job responsibilities is always appropriate. This includes, for example, breaking the glass on a patient’s record when it is necessary to care for the patient. Workforce members should not hesitate to access patient information necessary for them to do their job.  

But, it is never appropriate to access patient records and other patient information available through any EHR systems out of curiosity, boredom, personal use, etc.

Note: “Other patient information” includes information contained in a patient list, unit list or census list (e.g., Emergency Department or an inpatient unit’s census list.) 

Thus, for example, if a workforce member accesses the ED census list solely because they’re curious about how many patients are in the ED, such access is inappropriate and is subject to disciplinary action per policy

Thank you for your continued dedication to and compassion for patients and each other during this unprecedented time.

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