The HIPAA Privacy Rule makes sure those minimum standards for protecting the privacy of individually identifiable health information. This rule provides certain rights to individuals like the rights to access and amend their health information and to obtain a record of when and why their Protected Health Information (PHI) has been shared with others for certain purposes. Moreover The Privacy Rule sets certain conditions under which researchers can use the PHI when necessary to conduct research (What Are the Purpose and Background of the Privacy Rule?, 2007). The regulations with respect to the PHI is not made clear and even the hospital authorities don’t have enough idea about the PHI regulations. Thus they were forced to communicate the patient information or condition to the families of the hospitalized over the telephone even if the patient is critically ill.
Many healthcare professionals lost their job because of the wrong interpretation of the HIPAA rules and many others forced to pay heavy amounts as penalties. Nurses who don’t have much idea about the HIPAA regulations are staying away from disclosing the personal details of their patients even when it is badly needed for somebody else who might be a close relative of the patient.
Gross, (2010) has mentioned that HIPAA regulations place a large and expensive burden on companies who have access to private health data by adding to the workload of health care providers and others (Gross, 2010). As protection of privacy is taken as a serious matter in the HIPAA regulations, big companies and researchers were forced to take extreme care while using the private data. The HIPAA act thus raised many concerns and fear among medical practitioners in conducting research. The increased liability and unwanted expenses may force them to stay away from researches which will affect the healthcare system drastically.
HIPAA also put some