Purpose: This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. A number of laws are in place in Washington State and at the federal level that protect and guide the use of healthcare information which includes mental health, substance use and medical care. Any suspected violation of federal and state laws may be reported to appropriate authorities. Sound applies federal and state laws to the use and protection of the healthcare information of clients.
General Information: As a Sound client your information is confidential. Sound does not disclose the fact that an individual is receiving treatment services or the type of service unless we have an authorization to do so or disclosure is permitted by federal or state law. Only legitimate, authorized users are allowed access to your information. Access is granted on a need-to-know basis. Typically, all disclosures of information outside Sound are based on consents and authorizations obtained from the client or on uses permitted in federal and state laws, for example, the state and federal laws permit reporting of suspected child abuse and crimes committed by clients on the premises. Laws also permit the Agency to release information in order to help a caregiver provide you with emergency treatment and to carry out business practices such as research, audits and evaluations. Sound also responds to appropriately-served subpoenas and court orders. When a subpoena or court order is received, the client is contacted and when a subpoena is received Sound requires the client consent to release the information. The client may seek to quash a subpoena or invoke privilege in certain circumstances involving a court order. Sound will cooperate with both the client and the court system in appropriately protecting and making information available. In each instance of disclosure, the information disclosed is limited to what is needed in that situation.
Sound maintains a confidential clinical record of the services it provides to you. The record typically contains an initial assessment, a treatment plan, progress notes and other information related to the services you receive. The record, or information in the record, is used:
- To plan and track your care
- To notify you of appointments and coordination of services
- To document services for payment of care
- To communicate between the professionals who provide care
- To support regular clinical service operations
- To educate care professionals
- As a data source for organizational planning and management
- As a tool to continually assess and improve care
- To verify the quality of services to payers, licensing and accrediting bodies
- To communicate your prescription information to the pharmacy and verify active
- and previous prescriptions and medication allergies using Surescripts database
- To communicate with the health care community through secure electronic health information exchanges which protect the privacy and confidentiality of health information. Examples of health information exchanges are: Emergency Department Information Exchange and One Health Port
- To communicate with other organizations who agree to meet confidentiality rules by signing an agreement with Sound to be a qualified service organization/business associate
Your Rights: The clinical record is the physical property of Sound, however, you may:
- Request access to your record and review your record
- Request copies of your record or specific reports from your record
- Request an amendment to your record
- Authorize sharing or disclosure of information in your record with someone outside Sound
- Revoke your authorization to share or disclosure your information outside Sound except as action has already been taken based on your authorization
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of information sent outside Sound
- except those disclosures made to carry out treatment, obtain payment for services
- or provide for clinical service operations and certain other exceptions noted in the
- state and federal laws
- Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information, although Sound may decide not to implement the requested restriction
- Request that Sound communicate with you through alternate means or at an alternate location
Sound Duties: Sound applies privacy and confidentiality standards of practice to creating and maintaining clinical records related to client care. Sound is guided by state and federal law in its information practices. Policies and procedures, which are revised periodically also guide Sound’s actions. If for any reason we are not able to accommodate your request in regard to clinical information we will notify you. As the Notice of Information Practices changes it will be updated, posted in a public location and revised in the Client Handbook. You may always obtain a current Notice of Information Practices.
Outside organizations or individuals that provide services to Sound or collect data by contract agreement are required by written agreement to protect client confidentiality.
We will not disclose or use your clinical information without your authorization except as described in this notice or provided by law.
For More Information: If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the Healthcare Information Manager at Sound.
Complaints: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Officer at Sound or with the secretary of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.
Effective Date: 11/1/02
References: 45CFR Part 160 and 164, 42CFR Part 2,
RCW 70.02, 70.24, 71.05, 71.34, 13.50.100(4)(b), WAC 388-865, 388-805
mah rev.10/2/02, 9/07, 3/17/11, mah rev. 7/20/11, mah rev. 2/5/13