The HCFA HIPAA regulation will significantly change most of the systems that RRMC utilizes. Passed by Congress in 1996, the act was designed to help protect the privacy of patients and their information while "administratively simplifying" healthcare transactions ( The transaction standards became effective in October of 2000. Providers covered by the regulations have two years to comply. Standard claim formats, common code sets and unique health identifiers are part of the new regulations. The privacy portion of the act specifies how health providers handle patient information, both in transmission and accessibility. This rule went into effect in April of 2001 and carries a compliance deadline of April 14, 2003. When the security regulation portion of the act has been finalized, it will detail procedures and safeguards that will have to be in place to ensure confidentiality and integrity of patient health information. A final set of rules is expected later in 2002. HIS applications in place at the time of HIPAA's ratification are subject to its guidelines. While RRMC is using some standard code sets and claim formats currently, more work is required to insure enterprise-wise compliance. RRMC will depend on the vendors of the systems in place, along with the HIPAA task force led by the Corporate Compliance officer of the facility to ensure timely compliance.

HIPAA privacy mandates will also affect the way users sign on to the RRMC network. A single sign-on application is being tested for implementation later in 2002. This application meets the security standard of HIPAA and saves users from having to memorize (or more likely, write down) numerous passwords.

Beyond achieving HIPAA compliance, eliminating paper and providing timely, accurate information to employees and physicians has been an ongoing effort. Most paper-based reports have been converted to electronic format accessible via a Web browser or the decision support application client. Clinical information, such as lab and red results, patient episodes, and pharmacy profiles are also available via the medical center's intranet. In the future, more information will be available on-line as RRMC looks to implement an electronic medical record (EMR).

These initiatives, along with new systems that are on the horizon, will keep RRMC at the top of the list of facilities that have computerized much of their processes and recordkeeping.

Annals of Cases on Information Technology
SQL Tips & Techniques (Miscellaneous)
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 367 © 2008-2017.
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