Carmen's busy schedule
Carmen worked as an education coordinator for a nation-wide health care consultingorganization. She had a horribly busy schedule, starting work before 8 OD a.m. everyday, and rarely finishing work until at least 7:00 p.m. every evening. Her husband,Alan, worked at a local factory. It was difficult for either Carmen or Alan to get timeaway from work. Their son was five years old and starting kindergarten the nextmonth.One of the requirements for kindergarten was documentation of immunizationrecords. Carmen, who provided education on privacy-related issues and assistedfa cilities with form desig n as part of her Job, called the offi ce of Or. Stallone, her son·spediatrician. Carmen asked Jessica, who answered the phone at Or. Stallone's office,if she [Carmen) would be able to fax a completed release of information consen t to thepediatrician's office and have the office fax the immunization information back to herbecause she was unable to get to the office during their regular busi ness hours.
Jessica responded by saying, 'Tm sorry, honey, but medical records cannot be faxed.It is because of our provi ncial privacy legislation." Carmen explained to Jessica thatshe worked for a health care consulting company, developing education on privacyrelated issues, and that it was perfectly legal to release personal health informationvia fax. Jessica corrected Ca rmen and informed her that she had to go throughprivacy training when she was hired and that there were strict laws about releasingmedical information So, Carmen would Just have to come in to sign for the records inperson.Carmen decided that she did not have the time or energy to argue with Jessica aboutthe privacy legislation. So, she gave up and told her that she would see if she couldmake other arrangements. Carmen talked to Alan that evening when she got homefrom work and asked him if there was any way he could get approval to take a longlunch break to go and pick up the recordsbecause they needed them for kindergartenregistration at the end of the week.The next evening, Alan informed Carmen that he would be able to take a full hour forlunch the following day to go sign for the records in person. That following morning,Carmen called Dr. Stallone's office, where Jessica answered the phone again.Carmen explained to Jessica that beca use she could not accept a faxed release ofinformation form, that her husband had made arrangements to take a long lunch topick up their son·s records. She asked if they could get them prepared ahead of timeso that he did not have to wait long when he got to the office. Jessica respond ed,"Would it work better for you if I Just put the records in the mail for you? We don't evenneed a signature to mail records ...[Adapted from Grebner, LA . Ethics case studies for health informationmanagement. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning)
Answer the following for your initial discussion posting.
1. For your jurisdiction, which legislation[s) apply to this case study?
2. According to your jurisdictional legislation, who is correct regarding thelegality of faxing the medical record information?
3. According to your jurisdictional legislation, would it be legal to physically mailmedical records without a signature?