A HIPAA message -- me and my shadow

picture disc.HIPAA, the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," provides federal protection of patient health information. This HIPAA-related message is being shared as part of UNMC's continuing effort to educate employees. Today's HIPAA message addresses job shadowing.

Question: Does HIPAA permit job shadowing?

Answer: HIPAA does not specifically address job shadowing -- when individuals observe staff performing their duties to learn more about health care.

Because job shadowing is a valuable tool for individuals to learn more about the health care professions first-hand, UNMC has developed procedures for job shadowing designed to promote the health care professions while safeguarding patients' privacy. Individuals interested in job shadowing must review a handout on patient privacy and sign a confidentiality agreement and release.

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.