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What resource is available on the process of obtaining passcodes to EHR and legal issues that arise when passcodes are not readily available?

Question:

Dear Nancy,

As a manager I have been frustrated with the process of obtaining passcodes to the EHR for new employees and travelers. After working with HR for over a month to obtain a passcode, we finally got into a staffing crunch and I gave my passcode to a new nurse to use to chart and asked she document it was her under this sign on. Our risk manager was informed and now the risk manager feels we have a huge compliance issue and nurses may lose their jobs. I feel it is a system issue backing us into a corner. I have tried to find some information on this but have not had much luck. Are there any resources to help with
the situation?

Ray

Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Ray,

Working with electronic medical records and providing strict confidentiality of the information in those records is difficult at times, but very necessary. As you know, HIPAA requires not only the privacy and confidentiality of personal health information of patients but also requires information to be secure. Not sharing passwords under any circumstance is an essential component of both the privacy and security of the information in the EHR.

There are many times the type of situation you describe in your question is a systems rather than an individual nurse or person problem. It needs to be resolved quickly, however, so no PHI is compromised and the rules when using EHRs are adhered to by staff.

You might want to view the website of the Health Information and Management System Society (http://www.himss.org). This organization is at the forefront of health informatics and it has a strong nurse informatics membership. Its resources may help you gain information about your particular situation so it can be resolved and result in a coordinated team approach to your establishment of passwords and other issues that might arise with your facility’s EHR system.

Cordially,
Nancy

By | 2014-10-01T00:00:00-04:00 October 1st, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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