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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on April 11, 2005

Five Steps to Protect Your Personal Health Information April 10–16 Is National Health Information Privacy and Security Week

Monday, April 11, 2005

Georgetown, SC -- Personal health information is a valuable resource. Not only to healthcare consumers, but the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide your treatment and care.

Health information management (HIM) professionals are constantly working with healthcare providers to make sure patient information is kept private, secure, and in accordance with federal and state laws.

April 10-16 is National Health Information Privacy and Security Week. Georgetown Hospital System HIM professionals offer five steps consumers can take to ensure the protection and confidentiality of personal health information:

  1. Read your healthcare provider’s and health plan’s Notice of Privacy Practices. This notice informs you about your rights and how they may use your personal health information. Remember that you can request restrictions on the use and disclosure of your health information for treatment, payment, or notification purposes.
  2. Talk to your healthcare provider and health plan if you have any concerns about the confidentiality of your health information.
  3. Read the fine print before you authorize release of information. The authorization should specify who is to receive your health information and the purpose of its use.
  4. Know what health information is being collected about you and by whom. Find out what safeguards are used to keep it confidential.
  5. Be cautious before giving your information on Web sites, phone surveys, or in health screening questionnaires. Know how the information may be used or disclosed.

Sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), National Health Information Privacy and Security Week is designed to raise awareness among the public about the importance of personal health information privacy and security. For more information about personal health information privacy rights, visit www.myphr.org.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.