Security check -- a weekly HIPAA message

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 message stresses the importance of wearing identification badges.

Question: Why is it important to always wear your badge?

Answer: Your badge lets others know that you are authorized to be there. People without badges in restricted, nonpublic areas should be questioned -- "May I help you?" -- and possibly reported to campus security, 559-5111. If you're not located on campus, notify your manager or call 911 in a threatening situation. Even business visitors should wear badges.

Question: What should you do if you open a locked door and someone without a badge follows you through the door?

Answer: Politely ask if you can help the person. If the answer leaves you uncomfortable, report it immediately to campus security. People in a restricted area should be clearly identified. Each person should use his own access card to open a locked door.

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.