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Health Information Privacy, Security Week April 13-19

Protect patients' information when faxing

Let's talk about faxes to commemorate Health Information Privacy and Security Week. To ensure the privacy of MUSC’s patients, employees and staff need to take reasonable steps to ensure that a fax is sent to and received by the intended recipient. Reasonable steps include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The MUSC sender’s name, business affiliation, telephone number, and number of pages must be on the fax coversheet as well as the name, business affiliation, telephone number, and fax number of the intended recipient.
  • Confirm that the intended recipient is waiting by the fax machine to receive the transmission.
  • When a fax number is entered manually (because it is not one of the pre-programmed numbers), visually check the recipient’s fax number on the fax machine prior to starting the transmission.
  • Check the fax confirmation receipt immediately after the fax has been transmitted, to confirm the material was faxed to the intended fax number. If the intended recipient notifies you that the fax was not received, use your best effort to determine whether the fax was inadvertently transmitted to another fax number by checking the fax confirmation sheet or the fax machine’s internal logging system.
  • If you become aware that a fax was sent to the wrong fax number, immediately attempt to contact the unintended recipient by fax or telephone and request that the faxed documents, and any copies of them, be immediately returned to MUSC or destroyed. Notify the HIPAA (Health Information Portability And Accountability) compliance officer of the misdirected fax.
  • Never fax sensitive patient information (such as HIV/AIDS results or status or substance abuse and mental health treatment records). In all other cases, limit the amount of information to the minimum necessary to meet the requestor’s needs.

2 _____ authorization prior to access
4 Health Information Portability and Accountability Act
7 Criminal or civil
9 To do your job
10 Enforces HIPAA

1 ____, payment or operations
3 Protected health information
5 Every fax, every time
6 Do not share
8 No name in subject line

If you successfully complete the crossword puzzle, come by 246E North Tower on April 17 or 18 for your prize. For information, call Cindy Teeter at 792-4037.

Friday, April 11, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.