Patient Access Policy

To ensure the privacy of protected health information when it is communicated via employee, electronic, and telephone means.

POLICY
Privacy of protected health information shall be established by utilizing secure methods of electronic and employee communication.  Multiple platforms for communication are provided by the clinic which include:  Phone, e-mail, fax, patient portal, and face-to-face contact.  Our aim is to give patients a means to initiate communication with clinic staff 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Phone Messages:  When leaving a message please indicate your name, the patient’s name, the nature of your call, and contact information.  Clinical support staff will alert the preferred provider, care team member, or designee of a message.  The preferred provider, care team or designee will call the patient back within 24 hours.  Please be aware that certain messages may require a visit with a medical provider.

E-Mail:  Only members of care teams shall be authorized to access patient health information received from patients via e-mail.  E-mail is not to be used to communicate with patients about health information unless the message is encrypted and sent via secure server.  E-mail inquiries should be responded to within 24 hours, but not later than 48 hours by the preferred provider or care team member.

Fax:  Facsimiles that include patient health information must be protected from all unauthorized individuals.  The fax machine shall be located in an area that is free from patient areas.  A cover sheet containing standard information such as date, recipient name, number of pages, and a statement referencing confidentiality of information is required for all related transactions.  Information transacted must be collected immediately by sender.  The sender shall be responsible for requesting any inadvertent or misdirected fax to be returned to the practice’s address via regular mail.

Patient Portal:  This secure portal shall use encryption to keep unauthorized persons from reading communications, information or attachments.  Patients may request at any time information detailing how to participate in the patient portal.  The patient must provide an active email address in order to receive an email notification that details how to register.  The portal enables patients the ability to view and print health summaries; view medication lists and request prescription refills; review lab results; update demographic information; and view upcoming scheduled appointments.  Portal inquiries should be responded to within 24 hours, but no later than 48 hours.

Medical Records:  Patients are required to complete a release form submitted to the clinic in order to receive a copy of their medical records.  It is the responsibility of the Medical Records Assistant to process the request and ensure the records are mailed to patient or designated party within 10 business days.

Patient Forms:  Family Medical Leave, Attending Physician, disability, and school forms, etc; and also patient statements requested on patients behalf requires all patient portions of that form to be completed.  Satisfaction of requests shall occur within 5 business days.

HIPPA:  This federal rule requires us to protect the privacy of health information for each of our patients.  Our goal is to adhere to the statutes and regulations associated with the law at all times.

Non-Clinical Personnel:  Non-clinical personnel, unless authorized, are not permitted to answer medical questions or concerns.

QUALIFIED PERSONNEL
Members of the healthcare team within the scope of their practice.