Texas Children’s Workforce members should only access a patient record when it is part of their official, assigned work duties. Every “click” within a patient’s record is traceable, and the Compliance and Privacy Office routinely audits records to ensure only workforce members who have a work-related need are accessing the records. Workforce members who inappropriately access patient information (including their own information or their child’s information) will be disciplined, up to and including termination.
The following Frequently Asked Questions are meant to answer the most common questions concerning inappropriate access of patient records.
Frequently Asked Questions
A patient I’ve cared for in the past is now on another unit. May I access their record?
Maybe. Generally, once a patient leaves your unit, you may not access the record. However, if you have an official, current work purpose for accessing the record, you may do so as required to complete that task (for example, you need to update a note written during the patient’s stay on your unit).
I am a patient at Texas Children’s. Can I access my own record?
No. This is not an official work purpose. You may not use your work provided access to access your own record. As a patient, you may request your records through HIM or MyChart.
My child is a patient at Texas Children’s. Can I access my child’s record to check their upcoming appointment schedule?
No. This is not an official work purpose. You may not use your work provided access to access your child’s record, including appointment information. If you are the patient’s legal representative, you may use MyChart to check their appointment schedule, or call the clinic/practice where the appointment is scheduled.
I have access to clinical systems and my husband asked that I look up his record to check that his physician’s notes were correctly entered. Based on his explicit request, am I allowed to access his medical records?
No. This is not an official work purpose. You may not use your work provided access to access your family member’s record. The patient may request his/her records through HIM or MyChart.
My niece is a patient at Texas Children’s. Her Mother calls me and asks me to check the account balance. May I access her record?
No. This is not an official work purpose. Again, you may not use your work provided access to look at a relative’s record.
Key take away
- Do not access any medical record unless it is necessary to do your job
If you have any questions, please contact Compliance and Privacy (ext. 4-2085 or firstname.lastname@example.org).