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About STARS: HIPAA & FERPA Issues

   

The school nurses' primarily task of providing health care to students is being continually compounded by the need to document incidents, collect confidential information and provide detailed reports. The school nurse and all those at the school who have access to this information are responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, security and integrity of student health records. STARS was developed knowing that caring for students includes caring for their health records. There are two primary pieces of legislation related to the use and protection of student health information. STARS enables you to meet the privacy and security standards for electronic record keeping and fully implement the guidelines set forth in these pieces of legislation.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

 

This act specifically include schools, colleges and universities. The rules state that anyone who allows confidential health information to become public whether intentionally or unintentionally can be fined as much as $50,000 and imprisoned up to five years. Parents also have the right to review their child’s medical information and require correction of erroneous data.

 

Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA)

 

FERPA affords parents the right to have access to their children's educational records, the right to seek to have the record amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the record. When a student turns 18 years old or enters college, the rights under FERPA transfer to the student. An educational record is defined as a record that contains information directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for such institution or agency. Several examples of the types of educational records covered under FERPA are as follows: report cards, health unit records, and special education records. A health record software package must be able to protect and authenticate medical information, keep it confidential and allow controlled access.

 
 
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