Our policy is to provide individuals or their personal representatives with access to protected health information (PHI) in accordance with 45 CFR 164.524.
1. PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION – DEFINITION
“Protected Health Information” (PHI) means any information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium that identifies or can readily be associated with the identity of a patient and directly relates to the patient’s health care. The term includes any record of disclosures of protected health information.
2. PATIENT ACCESS TO THEIR PHI
2.1 Individuals may access their PHI by contacting the Health Information Management Department (HIM) at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, 101 N. Main Street, at 360.678.5151, ext. 4201, or 360.321.5151, ext. 4201, by mail, fax or in person.
2.2 Requests for access to PHI must be submitted in writing. The patient may write a note for the request or use our pre-printed Release of Information form.
2.3 The HIM Department will provide the individual with access to the PHI in the form or format requested by the individual if it is readily producible in such form or format; or, if not, in a readable hard copy form or such other form as agreed to by both parties. See 45 CFR 164.524(c) (2).
2.4 The HIM Department office typically takes up to14 calendar days to respond to a request for access. We can take up to 30 calendar days to respond to the request for access to PHI. If we need additional time beyond 30 days, we will notify the requester in writing of the extra time needed (up to no more than an additional 30 days) within the first 30 days in accordance with 45 CFR 164.524(b) (2)
2.5 Any denial of access to PHI by the HIM Department will be in writing and provided to the requester pursuant to 45 CFR l64.524 (a) (1)-(4) and (d). If access is denied for any of the following reasons, the requester must be informed in writing of the right to have the denial reviewed in accordance with 45 CFR l64.524(a)(3)-(4) and (d)(4):
2.5.1 a licensed health care provider has determined that the access is likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the requesting individual or another person;
2.5.2 the requested PHI references another person who is not a health care professional, and a licensed health care provider has determined that the requested access is likely to cause substantial harm to such other person; or
2.5.3 the request for access was made by an individual’s personal representative and a licensed health care provider has determined that providing the access to such personal representative is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the individual or another person.
REFERENCES: 45 CFR 164.524