| Uses and Disclosures for Treatment; Payment; and H |
May physicians’ offices use patient sign-in sheets or call out the names of their patients in their waiting rooms?Yes. Using patient sign-in sheets or calling out patient names in waiting rooms are allowed so long as the information disclosed is appropriately limited. The law explicitly permits the incidental disclosures that may result from this practice, for example, when other patients in a waiting room hear the identity of the person whose name is called, or see other patient names on a sign-in sheet. However, these incidental disclosures are permitted only when the covered entity has implemented reasonable safeguards and the minimum necessary standard, where appropriate. For example, the sign-in sheet may not display medical information that is not necessary for the purpose of signing in (e.g., the medical problem for which the patient is seeing the physician).