Impact of HIPAA on the Health Research, Patients' Personal Data Allowed to Release to the Physician for the Research Purpose, Professionals Involved in Planning Clinical Trials – Assignment Example

Health Care Informatics in Research Studies Affiliation: Discuss some of the ways that you can assist the physician in conducting the research study.
Health Information Management (HIM) director is usually the custodian of all the health information in a health facility. This therefore means that all the information about any research being conducted within the facility is known by the HIM director. In conducting a research, the most important thing is strong background information and literature review that would enable the researcher convince others the relevance of that research to others. In this case, the physician has to collect enough data to convince the importance of the therapeutic drug he wants to try out with patients in the hospital.
The HIM director keeps all the medical records of patients currently in hospital and those who had been there previously including all their medical problems which is necessary for the trial exercise. The director can therefore be able to present the records of those patients after seeking consent from the necessary authorities and how each of these patients involved in the trial is so far reacting or fairing with the test trial of the drug. This is crucial background information for the physician.
The other way to help is for the HIM director to inform the physician about the progress of the trial so far since its initiation in that facility. This is simple information to provide since the HIM director gets that information regularly to file and keep it for future use. The director can also get information across to the physician about the limitations and the strengths the research on drug trail has so far had including any number of deaths or reactions to the patients and how that is being contained or has been contained so far. Information about precautionary measures against any leaks of patients’ confidentiality including their names can be given to the physician (Green and Bowie, 2010).
2. What impact does HIPAA and privacy have on this process of health research? What health and personal information about your patients are you allowed to release to the physician for the purpose of Research?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are meant to protect the health information about patients. It does this through a set of standards and rules that health workers are obliged to follow in order to accomplish this goal. With this act of protection of patient’s health information and assurance of privacy, the HIM director has therefore no authority to release some details and information about the patients participating in the drug trial research as it will be a breach of HIPPA’s rules and standards. The patients’ details are therefore protected by all means possible.
According to HIPPA’s rules and guidelines information given by the doctors about the patient cannot be given to anyone unless with the consent of the patient, the conversations, insurance information or even the billing information is not allowed to be given to anyone other than the relevant people who have the consent of the patient (Noonan, 2002). This therefore means that the physician should have consent from the patients under research in order to obtain any information about them in spite of him being in the research team. With consent however, the physician can get the basic information about the patients.
3. Do you feel that as HIM director that you and your department should typically be involved in planning clinical trials?
I do not think the department and I should be involved in the planning because the work in the Health Information Management office is enough to keep us busy in the department without being added extra work that is not necessary. The department handles a lot of information and therefore planning clinical trials may require additional time and resources and this may lead to overworking the staff in this department.
Overworking will lead to burnout, lack of concentration and mistakes are bound to happen which may compromise either the clinic trials or the work of handling information within the department. Mix up of information is likely to take place and maybe even release of patient’s health information to the unauthorized personnel without even consent. Furthermore, planning clinical trials require a higher expertise of qualified researchers and medical doctors which is way higher than the qualifications of a HIM director or of people in that department (Skurka, 2012).
4. How should you prepare for the initial meeting with the physician? What could you bring to the table to discuss?
There are several things to prepare for that will be presented to the physician. These include the HIPPA rules and guidelines which may be necessary in case the physician wants information about the patient without the consent. The other important document is the visitors’ book which is important for every person who requires assistance from the department to sign for and indicate which information they require. This is necessary for tracking purposes in case doctors or nurses take patient’s files and fail to return then.
The other item necessary is all the files about the research with the up-to-date information about the research. These files should exclude those that are deemed confidential due to ethical standards. Any other information about the research or similar previous research that the HIM director may have in the department and which may seem necessary should be carried in case the physician needs to match their research progress so far with previous almost similar research (McWay, 2009).
Green, M. A. and Bowie, M. J. (2010). Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices. New York: Cengage Learning.
McWay, D. C. (2009). Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Information Management. New York: Cengage Learning.
Noonan, R. D. (2002). HIPPA: Employers Guide to Compliance. Chicago: Executive Greetings Incorporated.
Skurka, M. A. (2012). Health Information Management: Principles and Organization for Health Information Services. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.