Legal aspects of information sharing and communication by poison centers in the United States.

07:00 EST 14th January 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Legal aspects of information sharing and communication by poison centers in the United States."

To keep pace with changing technology and to provide better treatment to the public, U.S. poison control centers have increasingly implemented new ways of communicating with healthcare providers and with patients, including electronic transfer of patient information. Innovation in communication and information sharing raises concerns over patient privacy and compliance with applicable laws. This narrative review analyzes both typical activities and emerging innovations of PCCs in relation to U.S. law and regulation regarding privacy, specifically the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act. PCCs that are "covered entities" under HIPAA may exchange patient health information with other providers by telephone for purposes of treatment, and certainly during the emergency management of poisonings. SAMHSA regulations, however, limit information that can be shared outside of emergencies without patient consent. The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices which may in some circumstances involve privacy violations. Text message exchanges between PCCs and patients present particularly difficult privacy challenges under these laws.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.)
ISSN: 1556-9519
Pages: 1-7


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Facilities which provide information concerning poisons and treatment of poisoning in emergencies.

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Education centers authorized by the Comprehensive Health Manpower Training Act, 1971, for the training of health personnel in areas where health needs are the greatest. May be used for centers other than those established by the United States act.

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