The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, more commonly known as “HIPAA”, went into effect in 1996.
More than 20 years later, medical offices across the country have gotten used to the idea that building an office is more than having enough exam rooms and an ample waiting area. Spaces where information is provided or transferred should be organized in ways that do compromise patient information.
Spatial privacy, however, isn’t usually at the top of the to-do list for a new practice. Getting clients, tidying up the new space and getting record keeping in order usually takes precedence.
We often find medical practices that move into a new space are left with a layout designed for the previous business, which usually means the former tenants weren’t concerned about HIPAA.
Transitioning your office to be HIPAA compliant isn’t as complex as you might think. In this post, we’ll explain the different ways you can modify tables and counters to protect your patient’s privacy and comply with HIPAA guidelines.
Privacy Screens Can Turn a Long Table Into a HIPAA-Compliant Patient Area
Imagine you’ve just bought a new office space for your medical practice, whether it’s a family care center, a dental practice or a lab.
You don’t want to buy new furniture to have a HIPAA-compliant office. You want an easy solution that won’t take much time to install. Efficiency and privacy are the keys.
You’ve got a long table in the reception area that would be an excellent space for patients to fill out paperwork. You’re aiming to have a bustling place of business, so there could be four or five people handling sensitive medical information at any given time at that table.
OBEX privacy screens are the solution because they meet both of your objectives: quick installation and sufficient privacy to meet the required guidelines.
Depending on the type of table you have, our privacy panels can attach to the lip of the tables in your patient area or the can sit on top of the table.
The panels we provide have eight different lengths ranging from 24 inches to 72 inches, a span of lengths that can fit practically any situation your office requires.
These panels have three different heights: 12 inches, 18 inches and 24 inches. We ensure that the panels we send you are tall enough to provide a sight barrier that protects your patients’ privacy. These opaque panels eliminate the possibility of wandering eyes catching personal information.
We also provide multiple color options to ensure that your panels blend in with the color palette of your office.
If, during our consultation, you decide that the standard options we provide don’t fit the requirements of your patient areas, we are happy to work with you to create a custom solution.
Should the standard options we provide be sufficient for what you need, we can ship the panels directly to you for an easy, DIY installation that will take minutes.
Warranties Protect Your Screens for 10 Years
In addition to being veterans of the panel extender industry, we stand behind our panels with a 10-year warranty to protect your investment in HIPAA compliance.
Our warranty covers defects in the material and craftsmanship that occur during normal use of your screens. Send the panels to us and, upon verification of a defect, we’ll repair or replace the screens and send them back to you.
Additional Information About HIPAA and Doctor’s Offices
Knowing all the nuances of how to protect patient privacy can be overwhelming. There are resources, however, that can help you understand the basic principles to the point where you and your staff can create a safe, secure environment for anyone who walks through the doors.
The American Association of Orthodontists has an excellent post detailing the various aspects of HIPAA and how they relate not just to a dental office’s reception area desks but the office as a whole, including operatories and other rooms.
24 By 7 Security, a Coral Springs-based security firm, has a great guide to doctor’s-office privacy that covers all the various aspects of protecting your patients’ information.