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HIPAA Violations You May Not Have Thought of and How to Prevent Them

March 6, 2019

While the news is full of high-profile HIPAA breach cases and assessments of multi-million-dollar fines, smaller practices are not immune. They often succumb to the same types of error and bad judgment that affect larger providers. Fortunately, by following a few sensible guidelines, even smaller practices can safeguard themselves against the improper disclosure of protected health information (PHI) that leads to a HIPAA breach.

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Filed under: Patient Privacy, Confidentiality & HIPAA, Article, Practice Manager, Public Relations & Communication

Adolescent Health Information Privacy

March 4, 2019

Adolescent privacy laws vary in significant ways from state to state and may conflict with federal laws.1 In addition to minor consent laws, clinicians treating adolescent patients should be familiar with state and federal medical information privacy laws as they relate to adolescent healthcare. With these laws as a guide, the process of working out the sometimes competing interests of adolescents and their families should be made in the context of promoting the wellbeing of the adolescent patient.2

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Filed under: Patient Privacy, Confidentiality & HIPAA, Article, Physician, Pediatrics & Family Practice

The Increasing Importance of Patient Experience for Medical Practices

February 8, 2019

Patient experience—“the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care”1—is playing an increasingly significant role in the business success of medical practices. The impact is felt throughout the practice: online physician ratings, reimbursement levels, patient acquisition, and patient retention. In light of this, practices should consider ways to enhance the overall experience that patients have with their practices.

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Filed under: Article, Practice Manager, Physician Ratings, Patient Experience

Patient Engagement Along the Continuum of Care: Case Studies and Best Practices

November 13, 2018

Patient engagement generally describes patient involvement in their own healthcare. The concept of patient engagement is not new; for example, diabetes educators have been talking about “shared decision making” since the early 1990s.1 It is still a current hot topic among policymakers, though, and is a key component of meaningful use legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. Additionally, increasing patient engagement can benefit you and your patients. Engaged patients are more likely to have better outcomes and greater satisfaction with their healthcare experience and are also less likely to file malpractice lawsuits.2

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Filed under: Patient Relationship, Patient Communication, Article, Physician

Empathy Benefits Both Physicians and Patients: Case Studies and Best Practices

October 2, 2018

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)

Defining empathy can be complicated. In medicine, it is thought of as a communication competence, but it also describes the experience between physician and patient, during which the physician becomes attuned to the patient to understand what the patient is feeling. Patients also use empathy to describe a physician’s ability to understand their feelings and opinions and express compassion and concern for their well-being.1 Although physician empathy may seem to be a low priority in comparison to technical acumen, research indicates that physician empathy has wide-ranging benefits for both physicians and patients.

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Filed under: Patient Relationship, Patient Communication, Article, Physician
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