Provision of Patient Care
The UPCC is involved in the provision of patient care through consultations over the telephone. During the initial contact, UPCC staff gathers specific details about the patient and the exposure in order to adequately assess the situation and provide appropriate triage, diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Follow-up calls are performed to reassess patient status. As with any consult service, the UPCC needs patient specific information in order to assess whether the recommendations it has provided are still appropriate. Changes in patient clinical status or discovering new history that may have been obtained by the primary providers may require changes in our initial recommendations. We continue to follow the patient until the poisoning is resolved and the patient is medically cleared. Follow-up is typically with the nurse taking care of the patient, but occasionally with the resident or attending physician.
Because the UPCC is a telephone-based service, contact for follow-up is over the telephone. The UPCC staff can provide hospital staff with sufficient details to verify who is calling and their involvement with the case. The UPCC staff has information about the patient that may include reason for the exposure, substance involved, treatment provided, patient status, past medical history, circumstances surrounding the exposure, name, age, gender and weight. Not all of the above information is available in each circumstance. In rare instances, the patient name is unavailable when the patient first arrives in the hospital. This is usually when the hospital initiates contact with the UPCC rather than when the patient initiates contact with the UPCC.
Consultation of the UPCC initiated by the patient or health care provider constitutes implied consent regarding the UPCC's need to gather information necessary to adequately assess and make recommendations regarding the case as a health care provider.
Is the UPCC a Covered Entity?
The UPCC is a program of the University of Utah Health Sciences. The University of Utah HSC is a hybrid entity. The UPCC is not considered a covered entity because it does not transmit health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction for which a HIPAA standard has been adopted. However, because we provide patient care as a consultant you can provide follow-up patient specific information to us. Just because we are not a covered entity does not preclude you and us from working together to provide the best patient care possible.
In summary, whether or not the UPCC is a covered entity does not preclude hospitals from providing patient information to the UPCC as a provider of health care. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you to provide the best care possible to our patients. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.