RHIN 160

Legal Issues in Health and Medical Informatics

This course offers students an opportunity to understand a historical perspective of health law, including how to assess liability in the workplace, the impact of information management and healthcare records, medical malpractice, risk management, current ethical and legal dilemmas in the practice of healthcare. We focus on some of the legal issues encountered in creating electronic interfaces between patients and the healthcare system in a variety of ways in which healthcare data is being utilized to support and enhance patient care (including documenting medical encounters) and serving as a benchmark of provider quality. Topics covered will include statutory and case law applicable to medical records and the developing regulatory infrastructure for such records. We will discuss the importance of electronic data in medical practice, institutional healthcare information systems, and the inter-institutional record systems. We will also cover the risks, benefits and challenges related to this data, including how to manage risk of the employer and patient through the use of health information management medical records and how to determine personal risk and how to recognize potential litigious issues.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

Develop an understanding of how state and federal regulations must be taken into account during the creation and review of healthcare data retention policies to support effective decision making.

Define an appropriate procedure in alignment with industry practices for storage of information and to properly destroy media containing PHI when it is no longer needed.

Implement a Litigation Response Plan for electronic health information to ensure institutional preparedness.

Institute a HIPAA Compliance program with the utilization of audit trails and privacy and security software to ensure federally mandated compliance.

Identify inappropriate use of health information that impacts ethical and legal standards and policies.