The Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories Policy Number Effective Date 9/13/05 Subject Page 1 of 1 TELEPHONE INQUIRY REGARDING PROTECTED Supercedes 4/14/03 HEALTH INFORMATION POLICY The purpose of this policy is to attempt to ensure that all individuals calling on the telephone for patient data (protected health information or PHI under HIPAA) are appropriately identified and have legitimate need for the requested PHI. SCOPE This policy applies to the Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories. All faculty, staff, employees, students and other workforce members will follow this policy. STAFF / FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES Adherence to the following practices will normally indicate compliance with the above policy. 1) Whenever appropriate, callers requesting PHI by telephone will be reminded to use online resources such as PDS or EPR to obtain patient data. 2) When the caller is recognized by the Pathology faculty or staff member answering the telephone, PHI may be communicated as if in a face-to-face conversation. 3) When the caller can be verified as the ordering or referring provider, PHI may be communicated. 4) For other calls regarding PHI on Johns Hopkins patients, the caller must request a patient's data by: a. Fully identifying themselves b. Providing the patient’s name and medical record number (JH History Number) c. Answering the question: “Are you involved in the care of this patient?” Pathology faculty or staff member must make a reasonable attempt to determine the identity of the caller and a legitimate need to know before communicating PHI. 6) For non-Hopkins patients and an unknown caller, the Pathology faculty or staff member must make a reasonable attempt to ascertain the identity of the caller and the need for the requested PHI. This may be done by asking additional questions about the caller or patient; for example, asking for a call back number when a blood bank technologist calls from a local hospital to ask about a patient's transfusion history or by requesting a fax with additional details regarding the caller's identity and the need for the PHI.
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