Ogdensburg's Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center taking steps to avoid privacy lapses
Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 2:49 pm

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center employees Jim Flood, director of information systems, and Jennie Flanagan, director of compliance.

OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center has acquired a new Security Audit Manager, designed to better protect patient privacy.

The SAM helps the hospital identify potential privacy violations, and provides evidence of such violations.

Claxton-Hepburn can now retain and view the entire audit log of protected health information for years, allowing more advanced multidisciplinary cooperation. In addition to providing a deterrent, SAM has allowed the hospital to improve compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements.

Protected health information is any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual. This is interpreted rather broadly and includes any part of a patient's medical record or payment history.

“SAM is making a huge difference in our culture and our patient privacy efforts,” said Jim Flood, director of information systems at Claxton-Hepburn. “When people see it in action, they realize that we have a truly effective tool. People know they’re being audited, which has reduced the number of incidents.”

Jennie Flanagan, privacy officer and director of compliance at Claxton-Hepburn, added, “People may be able to access patient records, but they need to exercise judgment in knowing when not to access. Keeping track of 900 employees and affiliates is hard, but with SAM it makes our compliance program effective and when it comes to privacy, all employees know that big sister is watching.”

For more information about privacy and compliance at Claxton-Hepburn, visit www.claxtonhepburn.org or call 1-888-908-2462.