What is protected health information?
Protected health information is anything that identifies a patient or could be used to identify a patient and relates to that patient’s healthcare in any way. Protected health information can be in any format, including paper, electronic, or oral. Examples include After-Visit Summaries, prescriptions, any information included in the patient’s electronic medical record, and information discussed between healthcare providers.
Can I disclose a patient’s protected health information to a patient’s family member(s) or friend(s)?
Yes; however, you may only disclose protected health information to a patient’s family member(s) and/or friend(s) so long as you only disclose protected health information that is directly relevant to the patient’s family member’s or friend’s involvement in the care of the patient and so long as the patient has agreed or has been given an opportunity to object and did not object. For more information regarding these disclosures, please see Harris Health Policy 3.11.203, Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information to Persons Involved in the Patient’s Care and for Disaster Relief Purposes.