Unit 4.1 - Legal and Ethical Responsibilities

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Basic Health Profession Skills
updated 9 years ago by jncanf
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1

LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

THOSE THAT ARE AUTHORIZED OR BASED ON LAW

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CIVIL LAW

FOCUSES ON LEGAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PEOPLE AND THE PROTECTION OF A PERSONS RIGHTS.

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CRIMINAL LAW

FOCUSES ON WRONGS AGAINST A PERSON, PROPERTY, OR SOCIETY

4

HEALTH CARE IS MAINLY AFFECTED BY

CIVIL LAW, ESPECIALLY THOSE ASPECTS INVOLVING CONTRACTS AND TORTS.

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TORTS

WRONGFUL ACTS THAT DO NOT INVOLVE CONTRACTS

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EXAMPLES OF CRIMINAL LAWS INCLUDE:

PRACTICING IN A HEALTH PROFESSION WITHOUT HAVING THE REQUIRED LICENSE, MISUSE OF NARCOTICS, THEFT, AND MURDER.

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HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS/WORKERS ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO KNOW AND FOLLOW?

THE STATE LAWS THAT REGULATE THEIR RESPECTIVE LICENSES OR REGISTRATIONS OR SET STANDARDS FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE PROFESSIONS.

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FAILURE TO MEET YOUR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES CAN RESULT IN?

LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYER

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A TORT OCCURS WHEN?

A PERSON IS HARMED OR INJURED BECAUSE A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER DOES NOT MEET THE ESTABLISHED OR EXPECTED STANDARDS OF CARE.

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SOME OF THE MORE COMMON TORTS INCLUDE?

MALPRACTICE, NEGLIGENCE, VICARIOUS LIABILITY, ASSAULT AND BATTERY, INVASION OF PRIVACY, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, ABUSE, AND DEFAMATION.

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MALPRACTICE CAN BE INTERPRETED AS?

"BAD PRACTICE" AND IS COMMONLY CALLED "PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE"

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MALPRACTICE CAN BE DEFINED AS?

FAILURE OF A PROFESSIONAL TO USE THE DEGREE OF SKILL AND LEARNING COMMONLY EXPECTED IN THAT INDIVIDUAL'S PROFESSION, RESULTING IN INJURY, LOSS, OR DAMAGE TO THE PERSON RECEIVING CARE.

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EXAMPLES OF MALPRACTICE:

A PHYSICIAN NOT ADMINISTERING A TETANUS INJECTION WHEN A PATIENT HAS A PUNCTURE WOUND, OR A NURSE PERFORMING A MINOR SURGERY WITHOUT HAVING ANY TRAINING

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NEGLIGENCE CAN BE DESCRIBED AS?

FAILURE TO GIVE CARE THAT IS NORMALLY EXPECTED OF A PERSON IN A PARTICULAR POSITION, RESULTING IN INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON

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EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENCE:

FALLS AND INJURIES THAT OCCUR WHEN SIDE-RAILS ARE LEFT DOWN; USING OR NOT REPORTING DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT; INFECTIONS CAUSED BY THE USE OF NON STERILE INSTRUMENTS AND/OR SUPPLIES; AND BURNS CAUSED BY IMPROPER HEAT OR RADIATION TREATMENTS

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ACCORDING TO STATISTICS, THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF LAWSUITS NOWADAYS IS?

POOR PUBLIC RELATIONS OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER WITH THE PATIENT AND THEIR FAMILY.

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A SUCCESSFUL NEGLIGENCE LAWSUIT HAS FIVE BASIC ELEMENTS THAT NEED TO BE PROVEN BY THE COURT, THESE ARE:

1. DUTY (TO CARE) - OCCURS WHEN ONE ENGAGES IN THE ACTUAL CARE OF THE PATIENT.
2. BREACH OF DUTY - WHEN A STANDARD OF CARE IS NOT PROVIDED ACCORDING TO WHAT IS EXPECTED CARE.
3. CAUSATION - WHEN THERE IS A BREACH OF DUTY, IT IS THE DIRECT CAUSE OF AN INJURY OR DAMAGE.
4. FORESEEABILITY - WHEN THE RESULTING INJURY OR DAMAGE IS FORESEEABLE OR PREDICTABLE.
5.DAMAGE OR INJURY - WHEN AN ACTUAL INJURY OR DAMAGE WAS DONE OR OCCURED

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VICARIOUS LIABILITY IS?

A COWORKER PARTICULARLY A SUPERVISOR CAN BE HELD LEGALLY LIABLE FOR THE ACTION OF ANOTHER COWORKER, IF THAT SUPERVISOR ALLOWS A COWORKER TO CARE FOR A PATIENT KNOWING THAT THIS COWORKER IS NOT IN THE CAPACITY TO PROVIDE CARE, WHICH RESULTS IN INJURY TO THE PATIENT.

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ASSAULT

A THREAT OR ATTEMPT TO INJURE

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BATTERY

INCLUDES THE UNLAWFUL TOUCHING OF ANOTHER PERSON WITHOUT CONSENT

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ASSAULT AND BATTERY

ARE CLOSELY RELATED AND OFTEN USED TOGETHER

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IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT PATIENTS MUST?

GIVE CONSENT FOR ANY CARE AND THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE CARE.

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SOME PROCEDURES OR PRACTICES REQUIRE?

WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE PATIENT

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EXAMPLE OF PROCEDURES OR PRACTICES THAT REQUIRE A WRITTEN CONSENT CAN BE:

SURGERY, CERTAIN DIAGNOSTIC TESTS, EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES, TREATMENT OF MINORS (INDIVIDUALS BELOW LEGAL AGE, WHICH VARIES FROM STATE TO STATE), AND EVEN SIMPLE THINGS SUCH AS SIDE-RAIL RELEASES FOR A PATIENT WHO WANTS SIDE-RAILS LEFT DOWN WHEN OTHER FACTORS INDICATE SIDE-RAILS SHOULD BE UP TO PROTECT THE PATIENT

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VERBAL CONSENT IS PERMITTED IN A FEW CASES, BUT THE LAW STATES THAT THIS MUST BE

"INFORMED CONSENT"

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INFORMED CONSENT IS?

PERMISSION GRANTED VOLUNTARILY BY A PERSON WHO IS OF SOUND MIND AFTER THE PROCEDURE AND ALL RISKS INVOLVED HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED IN TERMS THAT PERSON CAN UNDERSTAND.

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IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT A PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW?

TO WITHDRAW CONSENT AT ANY TIME, THEREFORE ALL PROCEDURES MUST BE EXPLAINED TO THE PATIENT, AND NO PROCEDURE SHOULD BE PERFORMED IF THE PATIENT DOES NOT GIVE CONSENT.

28

EXAMPLES OF ASSAULT AND BATTERY INCLUDE:

PERFORMING A PROCEDURE AFTER A PATIENT HAS REFUSED TO GIVE PERMISSION AND IMPROPER HANDLING OR ROUGH TREATMENT OF A PATIENT WHILE PROVIDING CARE.

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INVASION OF PRIVACY INCLUDES:

UNNECESSARILY EXPOSING AN INDIVIDUAL OR REVEALING PERSON INFORMATION ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL WITHOUT THAT PERSON CONSENT.

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EXAMPLES OF INVASION OF PRIVACY INCLUDE:

IMPROPERLY DRAPING OR COVERING A PATIENT DURING A PROCEDURE SO THAT OTHER PATIENT OR PERSONNEL CAN SEE THE PATIENT EXPOSED; SENDING INFORMATION REGARDING A PATIENT TO AN INSURANCE COMPANY WITHOUT THAT PATIENTS WRITTEN PERMISSION; OR INFORMING THE NEWS MEDIA OF PATIENTS CONDITION WITHOUT THE PATIENTS PERMISSION. CAN ALSO BE GIVING INFORMATION ABOUT THE PATIENT EVEN TO FAMILY WITHOUT THE PATIENTS CONSENT.

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FALSE IMPRISONMENT REFERS TO?

RESTRAINING AN INDIVIDUAL OR RESTRICTING AN INDIVIDDUALS FREEDOM

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EXAMPLES OF FALSE IMPRISONMENT:

KEEPING PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED AGAISNT THEIR WILL, OR APPLYING PHYSICAL RESTRAINTS WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORIZATION OR WITH NO JUSTIFICATION.

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ABUSE

INCLUDES ANY CARE THAT RESULTS IN PHYSICAL HARM, PAIN, OR MENTAL ANGUISH

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TYPES OF ABUSE INCLUDE:

PHYSICAL, VERBAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, SEXUAL, DOMESTIC, CHILD AND ELDERLY ABUSE

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PHYSICAL ABUSE IS?

HITTING, FORCING PEOPLE AGAINST THERE WILL, RESTRAINING MOVEMENT, DEPRIVING PEOPLE OF FOOD OR WATER, AND/OR NOT PROVIDING PHYSICAL CARE

36

VERBAL ABUSE IS?

SPEAKING HARSHLY, SWEARING OR SHOUTING, USING INAPPROPRIATE WORDS TO DESCRIBE A PERSONS RACE OR NATIONALITY, AND/OR WRITING THREATS OR ABUSIVE STATEMENTS

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PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE IS?

THREATENING HARM; DENYING RIGHTS; BELITTLING, INTIMIDATING, OR RIDICULING THE PERSON; AND/OR THREATENING TO REVEAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PERSON

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SEXUAL ABUSE IS?

ANY UNWANTED SEXUAL TOUCHING OR ACT, USING SEXUAL GESTURES, AND/OR SUGGESTING SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

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PATIENTS MAY EXPERIENCE ABUSE BEFORE?

ENTERING A HEALTH CARE FACILITY

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DOMESTIC ABUSE IS?

AN INTIMATE PARTNER USES THREATENING, MANIPULATIVE, AGGRESSIVE, OR VIOLENT BEHAVIOR TO MAINTAIN POWER AND CONTROL OVER ANOTHER PERSON.

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CHILD ABUSE IS?

ABUSE DIRECTED TOWARD A CHILD

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ELDER ABUSE IS?

ABUSE DIRECTED TOWARD AN ELDER PERSON

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SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS THAT MAY INDICATE PATIENTS IN THEIR CARE ARE VICTIMS OF ABUSE INCLUDE:

1. UNEXPLAINED BRUISES, FRACTURES, BURNS, OR INJURIES
2. SIGNS OF NEGLECT (E.G PERSONAL HYGIENE)
3. IRRATIONAL FEARS OR A CHANGE IN PERSONALITY
4. AGGRESSIVE OR WITHDRAWN BEHAVIOR
5. PATIENT STATEMENTS THAT INDICATE ABUSE OR NEGLECT

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EVEN THOUGH THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS DO NOT ALWAYS MEAN A PERSON IS BEING ABUSED, THEIR PRESENCE INDICATES

A NEED FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION

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HEALTH CARE WORKERS ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT ANY SIGN OR SYMPTOMS OF WHAT?

ABUSE TO THEIR IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR OR TO THE INDIVIDUAL IN THE HEALTH CARE FACILITY RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING THE SUSPICIONS TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES.

46

DEFAMATION OCCURS WHEN?

FALSE STATEMENTS EITHER CAUSE A PERSON TO BE RIDICULED OR DAMAGE THE PERSONS REPUTATION.

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INCORRECT INFORMATION GIVEN OUT IN ERROR CAN RESULT IN

DEFAMATION

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SLANDER

INCORRECT INFORMATION THAT IS SPOKEN

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LIBEL

INCORRECT INFORMATION THAT IS WRITTEN

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EXAMPLES OF DEFAMATION, SLANDER AND LIBEL ARE:

REPORTING THAT A PATIENT HAS AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE TO A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHEN LAB RESULTS ARE INACCURATE, OR TELLING OTHERS THAT A PERSON HAS A DRUG PROBLEM WITH ANOTHER MEDICAL CONDITION ACTUALLY EXISTS.

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CONTRACT

AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE PARTIES

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MOST CONTRACTS HAVE 3 PARTS:

1. OFFER - A COMPETENT INDIVIDUAL ENTERS INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER AND OFFERS TO BE A PATIENT.
2. ACCEPTANCE - THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER GIVES AN APPOINTMENT OR EXAMINES OR TREATS THE PATIENT.
3. CONSIDERATION - THE PAYMENT MADE BY THE PATIENT FOR THE SERVICES PROVIDED.

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CONTRACTS IN HEALTH CARE ARE ____ OR _____.

1. IMPLIED
2. EXPRESSED

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IMPLIED CONTRACTS

ARE THOSE OBLIGATIONS THAT ARE UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT VERBALLY EXPRESSED TERMS

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EXPRESSED CONTRACTS

ARE STATED IN DISTINCT AND CLEAR LANGUAGE, EITHER ORALLY OR IN WRITING.

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ALL PARTIES ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT MUST BE FREE OF ____?

LEGAL DISABILITY

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LEGAL DISABILITY

A PERSON WHO HAS A LEGAL DISABILITY DOES NOT HAVE THE LEGAL CAPACITY TO FORM A CONTRACT.

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EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WITH LEGAL DISABILITIES ARE:

MINORS, MENTALLY INCOMPETENT PERSONS, INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS THAT ALTER THE MENTAL STATE, AND SEMICONSCIOUS PEOPLE. IN SUCH CASES, PARENTS, GUARDIANS, OR OTHER PERMITTED BY LAW MUST FORM THE CONTRACT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL.

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IF THE CONTRACT IS NOT PERFORMED ACCORDING TO AGREEMENT

THE CONTRACT IS BREACHED. FAILURE TO PROVIDE CARE AND/OR GIVING IMPROPER CARE ON THE PART OF THE HEALTH PROVIDER, OR FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE PATIENT TO PAY ACCORDING TO THE CONSIDERATION, CAN BE CONSIDERED BREACH OF CONTRACT AND CAUSE FOR LEGAL ACTION.

60

A TRANSLATOR MUST BE USED WHEN A CONTRACT IS EXPLAINED TO A

NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING INDIVIDUAL. MANY STATES REQUIRE THE USE OF A TRANSLATOR FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING. HEALTH CARE AGENCIES HAVE A LIST OF TRANSLATORS THAT CAN BE USED IN THESE SITUATIONS.

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AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING RELATIVE OR FRIEND OF A PATIENT CAN ALSO SERVE AS?

A TRANSLATOR

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A FINAL IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IN CONTRACT LAW IS THE ROLE OF THE ?

AGENT

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WHEN A PERSON WORKS UNDER THE DIRECTION OR CONTROL OF ANOTHER PERSON, THE EMPLOYER IS CALLED THE ____, AND THE PERSON WORKING UNDER THE EMPLOYER IS CALLED THE ____.

1. PRINCIPAL
2. AGENT

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THE PRINCIPAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THE AGENT AND CAN BE REQUIRED TO ?

PAY OR OTHERWISE COMPENSATE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED BY THE AGENT.

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PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS

COMPROMISE ALL INFORMATION GIVEN TO HEALTH CARE PERSONNEL BY A PATIENT

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THIS INFORMATION MUST BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL AND SHARED ONLY WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PATIENTS HEALTH CARE TEAM

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS

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CANNOT BE TOLD TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE PATIENT, THE CONSENT SHOULD BE STATE WHAT INFORMATION IS TO BE RELEASED, TO WHOM, AND ANY APPLICABLE TIME LIMITS.

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION

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CERTAIN INFORMATION IS EXEMPT BY ____ AND MUST BE _____.

1. LAW
2. REPORTED
EXAMPLE: BIRTHS AND DEATHS, INJURIES CAUSED BY VIOLENCE, DRUG ABUSE, COMMUNICABLE DISEASE, AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES.

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HEALTH CARE RECORDS

CONSIDERED PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS

70

BELONG TO THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

HEALTH CARE RECORDS

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PATIENT HAS THE RIGHT TO OBTAIN A COPY OF ANY INFORMATION IN THIS RECORD

HEALTH CARE RECORD

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CAN BE USED AS LEGAL RECORDS

HEALTH CARE RECORDS

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ERASURES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON

HEALTH CARE RECORDS

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YOU NEVER ERASE, YOU ALWAYS?

CROSS OUT WITH A SINGLE LINE SO MATERIAL IS READABLE, CORRECT INFORMATION SHOULD THEN BE INSERTED, INITIATED, AND DATED.

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HEALTH CARE RECORDS MUST BE

PROPERLY MAINTAINED, KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, AND RETAINED FOR THE AMOUNT FOR TIME REQUIRED BY STATE LAW.

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WHEN RECORDS ARE DESTROYED AFTER THE LEGAL TIME FOR RETENTION, THEY SHOULD BE

BURNED OR SHREDDED TO MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY

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COMPUTER CONFIDENTIALLY

1. LIMITING PERSONNEL WHO HAVE ACCESS TO SUCH RECORDS
2. USING CODES TO PREVENT ACCESS TO CERTAIN INFORMATION
3. REQUIRING PASSWORDS IN ORDER TO ACCESS SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON RECORDS
4. CONSTANTLY MONITORING AND EVALUATING COMPUTER USE

78

STANDARDS CAN VARY FROM STATE TO STATE, AND AGENCY TO AGENCY SO REMEMBER:

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LEARN EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE LEGALLY PERMITTED TO DO, AND TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR EXACT RESPONSIBILITY.