On January 1, 2009 California implemented strict new laws to safeguard patient medical information. These new laws hold both entities and individuals accountable for maintaining the confidentiality of patient medical information. Under the new California laws, health facilities must prevent unlawful or unauthorized access to, or use or disclosure of patient medical information; and the affected patient. As defined in the new law, unauthorized access is the "inappropriate access, review, or viewing of patient medical information without a direct need for medical diagnosis, treatment or other lawful use."
Under the new laws, OHII may also report licensed healthcare providers to their licensing board for disciplinary action, and may refer the individual to the local district attorney (DA) and the state Attorney General for action if appropriate.
Therefore, in order to protect your patients' medical information and minimize any risk for you and your staff, MuirLab would like to communicate the following policy changes:
- Effective April 20, 2009, verbal and/or facsimile laboratory test results will be released to physicians only. We encourage patients to communicate directly with their doctor regarding their test results.
- A "Release of Results" form must be completed by the patient at the time of service in order for laboratory test results to be mailed to them or any other doctor.
- Laboratory results may also be obtained in person by visiting Health Information Management located at both the Walnut Creek and Concord Campuses.
Finally, we at MuirLab appreciate your understanding and ongoing support as we transition this policy. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you.