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Two HIPAA Decisions

Posted on January 25, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I had been getting some searches on the site for HIPAA Lawsuits or HIPAA cases and it started me thinking about what might be out there. Sure enough I found some interesting info in another HIPAA Blog.

Here’s the 2 points I took from these 2 HIPAA cases:
there’s no private cause of action against a covered entity for a HIPAA violation
This is good for those organizations to know that they can’t be sued for one person’s carelessness(or direct violation). At least that’s my understanding from what was written. It did say that Rite Aid could have a breach of privacy and negligence claim brought against them. I think this is what we are really mostly wondering about. I guess we’ll have to see how the courts work it out.

The second point was a parent trying to get a child’s counseling records. Essentially they weren’t able to do that. It looked like there good be a few state loopholes so that might be something of concern, but overall it seems like the court upheld the privacy of the patient from the parent. While I think it’s appropriate it is sad to think that so many parents would need to go to these extremes to get information on the child(pardon the social commentary).

I must admit that reading this information makes me glad I’m not a lawyer and confirms my current opinion that HIPAA is a necessary evil.

Free Software List

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I guess today I’m feeling a little more techy since my posts are more about tech toys and software. It doesn’t really matter if you are an EMR user or not, but this software list can save you a bunch of money personally and in using an EMR. Not to mention implement some good security controls.
I ran accross this list at a blog by a modest construct

Here’s the ones I’ve tested and suggest:
Firefox
Trillian
FileZilla
Bittorrent
AdAware
SpyBot
CDBurnerXP Pro
WinAmp(I can’t believe this one’s still around)
Media Player Classic
VideoLan
Quicktime Alternative
Real Alternative
The GIMP
OpenOffice.org

SpyBot and AdAware are essential for good security and PC cleaning. I need to look through the anti virus programs on the list, but we have a site license for Norton and so it hasn’t been a good priority.

My favorite money saver is GIMP. It is nearly as good as Photoshop, but FREE!

Biometric Fingerprint Logins

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve started looking at purchasing some biometrics throughout my clinic. Here’s my favorite so far:

I really like the DigitalPersona biometrics that I saw at the MISTI HealthSec Conference in San Francisco. My favorite part is that it is integrated with Active Directory so I can set all my group policies and I don’t have to train each workstation on all the fingerprints. It seems like they have a good set of security and management abilities with their active directory implementation.

DigitalPersona sent me some interesting documentation on HIPAA compliancy. I must admit that I think that is mostly marketing. They make some good points on how biometrics can make you more HIPAA compliant, but I think that is due to biometrics and not necessarily tied to the specific company.

Something I’m still interested in learning from them is their ability to integrate with my existing EMR. I still think it would be great to capture a person’s fingerprint using the biometric device and then just matching the fingerprint whenever you need their signature on a consent, referral or some other document you. This type or electronic signature would be very reliable, very secure and yes I can’t wait until we have an electronic signature available. I’m tired of scanning.

I also asked DigitalPersona what kind of features they have for auto logout. I read something(I can’t remember where) that some biometrics have an auto logout feature when you leave the room. Don’t ask me if it is some proximity feature or what, but I’m interested to know what they have in mind.

I also have the Microsoft Biometric Fingerprint Reader(the one with the mouse and login separate). I actually think it is just a DigitalPersona unit with the Microsoft branding. The funny part is that I love the mouse more than the biometrics. I personally can type the password faster than I can fingerprint login. However, considering the number of calls I’ve gotten for users who forgot their password or had caps lock on or just don’t know how to type, I can’t wait for biometrics.

Integrate my EMR and biometrics with active directory and I can finally do what I was suppose to do at work.