HIPAA compliance issues are a big part of healthcare that many patients are unfamiliar with.
Chiropractic clinics can inform their patients of how compliance issues impact their care by initiating compliance conversations with patients, answering their questions and offering resources for more information.
The rights and responsibilities protecting both practitioners and their patients by regulating healthcare may be difficult for some patients to understand, so be ready to simplify terminology and discuss the relevance of understanding compliance concepts.
By establishing yourself as a resource to patients, you are empowering them to make their own healthcare choices and become more involved in how their data and information are used.¹
Prepare patient education materials and strategies using these suggestions.
Making information available
Patients may want to know how their information is used, what your clinic is required to do to protect their privacy, and how they can learn more about their rights. As much as possible, you and your clinic should work to make this information readily available and easy to understand.
If your patients have questions, be available to answer them and make sure your office and front desk staff are trained to answer common questions. Be sure to tell them they can approach you or your office staff if they are confused about compliance issues or have questions.¹
As needed, point your patients to other resources such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS)This website features HIPAA information in a variety of different formats, such as video, fact sheets and guides and is designed with patient-friendly language and information.
Educating patients on how their information is used and protected helps them make better, more informed choices. As their chiropractic physician, your role in this decision-making process is key. Helping your patients figure out their options enables them to understand how their choices today impact their care tomorrow.¹
This education is part of achieving informed consent. Just as you would answer your patients’ questions about their chiropractic care, you should also be prepared to help your patients understand electronic health records, privacy issues, and other aspects of compliance.
Your patients may wonder why such policies exist or may not understand how they are personally impacted by healthcare legislation. Whenever possible, take time to study patient rights and obtain information that your patients may ask for. Your diligence may show patients how much you care about their privacy and personal rights.¹
Because many of the terms associated with compliance issues are complex and specialized, some patients may have difficultly understanding how healthcare policy impacts them.
Whenever you create printed or electronic materials, make sure all unusual or uncommon terms are defined and use simple, direct language if it is possible.¹
Partner with your staff
Now that you are preparing to teach your patients about compliance, enlist help from your office and front desk staff. Show them how to share compliance resources, answer questions and educate patients.
. “Patient Consent for eHIE: Patient Education and Engagement.” . . Accessed: September 2016.