Confidentiality, Privacy and Security

Records of Adopted Children

  • 1.  Records of Adopted Children

    Posted 09-11-2019 16:58

    I work at a community mental health center.  Often we have minors who are in DHS custody for various reasons.  Sometimes parents lose rights and the minor is adopted.  My questions are:
    1.  If you are notified an active client/patient is adopted do you create a new record or do you simply update the demographics and legal custodian information?
    2.  If you create a new record do you enter an Alert or some type of a notification to staff that another record exists?
    3.  Do you keep a copy of the adoption papers in the record?  If there are multiple children involved in the adoption, do you redact their names from the active client/patient record?
    4.  Does anyone have a sample policy they would be willing to share?

    Thank you,

    Kathryn Boyes
    Director, HIM

  • 2.  RE: Records of Adopted Children

    Posted 09-12-2019 05:07
    If John Doe is adopted, that does not make him a new patient to a health care facility. The medical records number for John Doe should remain the same regardless of what changes . This will make retrieving and accessing all his records effective for many years to come because of using one and only one records number.

    Health Information Consultancy

  • 3.  RE: Records of Adopted Children

    Posted 09-13-2019 10:14

    If we maintain one record, how do you suggest we protect the information of the previous parent from being disclosed?


    Lynn Boyes, RHIT

    Health Information Management Director,

    HIPAA Privacy Officer

    7010 S. Yale Ave | Tulsa, OK 74136 918.236.4135 direct line

    918.499.1598 fax

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  • 4.  RE: Records of Adopted Children

    Posted 09-13-2019 14:17
    After receiving a signed authorization form...before disclosing the records to a family member consult the attending physician or medical director . This will depend on your facility policy. The physician will determine if there is any information in the record that can infringe or course harm to the family member. An abstract should be prepared that would fit the needs of the requester.

    Health Information Consultancy

  • 5.  RE: Records of Adopted Children

    Posted 09-12-2019 08:40
    You may want to look at your state laws.   Some of this may depend on the age of the child.  Of course you want to have pertinent records available for continuity of care.   However, don't lose sight of state confidentiality laws and potential protections/confidentiality issues for the natural parents of the child.

    Nancy Davis, MS, RHIA, CHPS
    Director of Compliance & Safety
    Door County Medical Center