Category: Miscellaneous

Email and Private Health Information

January 26, 2011  |  BGS

A Minnesota man left the snow-filled streets of Minneapolis for a vacation in Puerto Rico. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email. Unfortunately, when typing her address, he missed one letter, and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen; Dearest Wife, Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P.S. Sure is hot down here This is an old tale reminding us of the importance of email accuracy and security. While electronic mail has become second-nature to most of us, we should strive to be more aware of private issues being transmitted over the internet. This is especially important when requesting and transmitting a client’s protected health information (PHI) for review. The requirement to protect the privacy of PHI extends to electronic transmission of PHI between two parties, such as an…

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