Carmen worked as an education coordinator for a nation-wide health care consulting organization. She had a horribly busy schedule, started work before 8:00 a.m. every day, and rarely finished working until at least 7:00 p.m. every evening. Her husband, Alan, worked at a local factory, and it was difficult for him to get time away as well. Their son was five years old and starting kindergarten the next month.
One of the requirements for kindergarten was documentation of immunization records. Carmen, who provided education on PHIPA-related issues and assisted facilities with form design as part of her job, called Dr. Stallone, her son’s pediatrician’s office. Carmen asked Jessica, who answered the phone at Dr. Stallone’s office, if she would be able to fax a release of information form to the pediatrician’s office and have the office fax the information to her because she was unable to get there during office hours. Jessica responded by saying, “I’m sorry, honey, but medical records cannot be faxed. It is because of PHIPA .” Carmen explained to Jessica that she worked for a health care consulting company, developing education on PHIPA-related issues, and that it was perfectly legal to release information via fax. Jessica corrected Carmen and informed her that she had to go through PHIPA training when she was hired and that there were strict laws about releasing medical information, so she would just have to come in to sign for the records in person.
Carmen decided that she did not have time or energy to argue with Jessica about PHIPA, so she gave up and told her that she would see if she could make other plans. Carmen talked to Alan that evening when she got home from work and asked him if there was any way he could get approval to take a long lunch break to go pick up the records because they needed them for kindergarten registration at the end of the week.
The next evening, Alan informed Carmen that he would be able to take a full hour for lunch 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 because she could not accept a faxed release of information form, that her husband had made arrangements to take a long lunch to pick up their son’s records, and she asked if they could get them prepared ahead of time so that he did not have to wait long when he got there. Jessica responds “Would it work better for you if I just put the records in the mail for you? We don’t even need a signature to mail records.”
In your initial post, answer the following questions:
- Who is correct in this situation?
- Why is this person correct?
- What principles from the CSA Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information is the most appropriate in this situation?