The New York State Department of Health published results of a survey dated June 13, 2011 in which Cedar Lodge Nursing Home, located in Center Moriches in Suffolk County, received substandard results in several areas. Sections 483.75(l)(3) and 483.20(f)(5) of CFR Title 42 discuss standards for record keeping and maintenance. The importance of safeguarding records is further evidenced not just in the codification, but also through the process one must navigate to obtain patient records.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensures that only an individual or his or her authorized representative is able to gain access to private medical records. In the deficiency report, the DOH noted that personal medical records were being stored at Cedar Lodge in an open area of the basement. The file cabinets and boxes storing the records were not properly locked or secured.The area of the basement housing the records was accessible to maintenance and housekeeping departments. The report did not mention if the records were accessed by unauthorized personnel, but that the files were accessible.