The HIPAA Law was passed in 1996 by congress the protect the privacy and health information of patients in hospitals, clinics, and many other Human service organizations. Along with the HIPAA, the Privacy Rule is enforced, in which the disclosure of protected health information is enforced as well. The major responsibility for the Privacy act is to ensure that the individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the information to be passed on as needed to provide he or she the best care for their overall well being.
In many Human Service organizations, you will be run into cases or patient that are in your care that you will have a little more empathy or maybe care a little more than you should and would want to help. Whether it be going on your own and finding resources, or maybe discussing it with a fellow coworker. This is when you should remember the Privacy Act. Not only it is illegal, but as a Human Service worker, you are violating the your ethical laws as a Human Service worker. As a worker, you have to remember that this is your job, and your responsibility is to ensure that the individuals’ safety or well being is not out at risk. That their rights as a human being are not being violated or that their personal triumphs are not being disclosed or passed on to others. When working in the Human Service field, you cannot wear your heart on your sleeve. You are bound to run into issues and situations that may hit close to home, but that is when your ethics and morals as a worker has to kick in. You have a responsibility to the individuals’ you serve that they are being helped in a way that benefits them and their families.
Even though the HIPAA was designed to protect the private information of individuals’, some believe that it may actually take certain privacy act from those individuals’. In the early draft of the HIPAA 2001, it stated that none of the health information collected form a patient cannot be transferred by a practitioner to any other party without the prior consent of the patient, because they felt that many of these patients were not receiving the proper attention and care, as of 2003, the HIPAA was revised and now states that all patients health information may be shared with other health care providers for the purpose of treatment and other health related issues that will benefit that individual. In a situation where for example, a child is being abused and the family has a history of abuse, as a Human Service worker, we are mandated child abuse reporters. We can act to make sure that the child and other family members are out of harms way. For the adults in this situation, they have a choice of whether to leave or go, but as a worker, you did your part and got the little innocent children out of there. After reporting to the proper authorities, that is pretty much all you can do.
There was once a case against a phlebotomist a lab assistant in a hospital, Richard Gibson, who violated a patients HIPAA privacy act. He accessed the medical records of a