Maintaining the confidential nature of patient records is integral to patient care, and in 1996 the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) established new standards for the confidentiality, security, and transmissibility of health care information.

There are three types of standards created by HIPAA: privacy, security and administrative simplification (e.g., transaction standards). Together these regulations provide significant guidance to providers that has a major impact on the day-to-day functioning of the nation’s hospitals.  The following are some of the key government resources on HIPAA:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Health Information Privacy Home Page

HHS – Instructions for Health Care Providers regarding HIPAA

Office of Civil Rights Enforcement Process

Guidance on releasing patient information to the media