What are the legal and ethical implications when an employee decides to take medical charts and faxed lab reports home to catch up on filing over the weekend?

Allowing this practice can expose your organization to a huge liability. Personal medical records could be seen by unauthorized persons while the records are in the possession of the employee away from the office. In the office environment confidentiality is assured by limiting access to authorized staff members. When the files are taken out of the office, there is no assurance of confidentiality.

The possible exposure of private medical information to anyone without the patient’s written permission is a clear violation of HIPAA regulations. There is an implied lack of proper records management, too. In addition to these problems, the possibility of losing the medical records exposes the organization to malpractice suits. This practice must be halted at once and all employees reminded that medical records never leave the office for any reason.

Hope that helps you out. =)

A note about HR laws:
Laws concerning employee treatment, benefits, hiring and firing…etc are multi-level. What this means is that there are Federal laws, state laws and sometimes local regulations that have jurisdiction over an employee. The information presented here should not be considered legal advice. Ultimately, employers with serious legal questions should consult local attorneys with expertise in worker relations.
The questions and answers presented here are based on research and data from internet sources and should not be considered the final word.

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