Houston Health Department

Confidentiality

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confidetiality logo

 

Patient privacy is of the utmost importance
in the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP).

 

Protocols are strictly followed at the Houston project area and national
level to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and security of all MMP data.
All information collected will be kept confidential including health care facility, health care provider, and patient names. Facility, provider, and patient names are NOT sent to CDC and will NOT be used in any reports.

 

What laws protect the release of patient
information to project staff?

 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 permits health care providers to disclose protected health information
to public health authorities for the purposes of preventing or controlling disease, for example, as part of this public health surveillance project.

 

CDC Guidance to Healthcare Providers

 

Assurance of Confidentiality of HIV/AIDS Surveillance-Related Data

 


How do project staff protect confidentiality?

 

      • MMP interview and abstraction data records do not contain specific participant identifiers such as name, address, social security number
        etc.
      • No specific identifiers are included on the data collection instruments.
      • Software used to collect interview data and abstract medical records
        have the ability to encrypt response data and they have password-protected access.
      • Advanced encryption software is also installed on all laptops used
        for data collection with three access levels. Unauthorized persons
        will not be able to view, export, or modify collected data.
      • Data sent to and received from CDC are encrypted using advanced encryption standards and transmitted through a secured data portal.
      • In addition, the Houston Medical Monitoring Project (HMMP) is a part of Bureau of Epidemiology within the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS), and follows all bureau-wide guidelines regarding the secure collection, storage, management and transmission
        of data.



Link to HDHHS PowerPoint on Security and Confidentiality policies


 

letter of endorsement from HMMP community advisory board letter of endorsement from national organizations

For more information about HMMP and participation in the project, please contact the Bureau of Epidemiology at 832.393.5080, or contact HMMP by e-mail.

 

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