Dealing with complaints -- a weekly HIPAA message

April 22, 2003

picture disc.HIPAA, the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," provides federal protection of patient health information. You will be receiving weekly messages to help you understand the topic and how it impacts your job. Today's HIPAA mesage answers what to do if a patient believes their confidentiality has been breached, or their privacy rights have been violated.

Question:
If a patient believes that their confidentiality has been breached or their privacy rights have been violated, what should you do?

Answer:
If possible, attempt to resolve the complaint yourself to the patient's satisfaction. If this is not possible, elevate the issue with your supervisor. In your professional judgment if the incident represents a risk for the organization contact your manager and the NHS Patient Relations Department. It is our goal to resolve complaints internally in the most expedient manner possible.

For detailed information, see UNMC Patient Complaint Policy.

picture disc. If you're a manager, please ensure all of your employees are informed of the contents of these messages and how it applies to your work area. Some ways of sharing the information include discussions during staff meetings, printing and posting this message or asking your employees if they have any further questions.