A Clinician’s Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU

for the Privacy, Access, and Engagement Task Force of the Libretto Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Leslie Francis, Micah A. Vorwaller, Hanan Aboumatar, Dominick L. Frosch, John Halamka, Ronen Rozenblum, Eileen Rubin, Barbara Sarnoff Lee, Jeremy Sugarman, Kathleen Turner, Samuel M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: To review the legal issues concerning family members’ access to information when patients are in the ICU. DATA SOURCES:: U.S. Code, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, and state legislative codes. DATA EXTRACTION:: Relevant legal statutes and regulations were identified and reviewed by the two attorney authors (L. F., M. A. V.). STUDY SELECTION:: Not applicable. DATA SYNTHESIS:: Review by all coauthors. CONCLUSIONS:: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and related laws should not be viewed as barriers to clinicians sharing information with ICU patients and their loved ones. Generally, under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, personal representatives have the same authority to receive information that patients would otherwise have. Persons involved in the patient’s care also may be given information relevant to the episode of care unless the patient objects. ICUs should develop policies for handling the issues we identify about such information sharing, including policies for responding to telephone inquiries and methods for giving patients the opportunity to object to sharing information with individuals involved in their care. ICU clinicians also should be knowledgeable of their state’s laws about how to identify patients’ personal representatives and the authority of those representatives. Finally, ICU clinicians should be aware of any special restrictions their state places on medical information. In aggregate, these strategies should help ICU managers and clinicians facilitate robust communication with patients and their loved ones.

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalCritical Care Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 2 2016

Fingerprint

Privacy
Communication
Information Dissemination
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Episode of Care
Patient Advocacy
Access to Information
Lawyers
Telephone
Patient Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

for the Privacy, Access, and Engagement Task Force of the Libretto Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Accepted/In press). A Clinician’s Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU. Critical Care Medicine. DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000002190

A Clinician’s Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU. / for the Privacy, Access, and Engagement Task Force of the Libretto Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

In: Critical Care Medicine, 02.12.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

for the Privacy, Access, and Engagement Task Force of the Libretto Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation 2016, 'A Clinician’s Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU' Critical Care Medicine. DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000002190
for the Privacy, Access, and Engagement Task Force of the Libretto Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. A Clinician’s Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU. Critical Care Medicine. 2016 Dec 2. Available from, DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000002190
for the Privacy, Access, and Engagement Task Force of the Libretto Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. / A Clinician’s Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU. In: Critical Care Medicine. 2016
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