Patricia Wagner Quoted in “Handwritten Notes Can Be Weak Link in Your Compliance with HIPAA”

Multiple Publications November 2014

Patricia M. Wagner, Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Healthcare Risk Management and Hospital Access Managementin “Handwritten Notes Can Be Weak Link in Your Compliance with HIPAA.”

Following is an excerpt:

Limiting the use of handwritten or printed records should mesh with a hospital’s overall privacy policy, particularly the admonition to use the “minimum necessary” PHI, says Patricia Wagner, JD, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green in Washington, DC.

That “minimum necessary” phrase will mean that handwritten notes should never include more information than is strictly necessary to achieve the task, and Wagner says it rarely would be necessary for a note to include information such as a patient’s full identification and Social Security number. …

“Unfortunately many healthcare organizations will not recognize the danger posed by paper records until they have a breach of that type,” Wagner says. “Then they will be alarmed and wonder why they have so much paper floating around.”