North Carolina Poison Control fully respects patient privacy and confidentiality and complies with the HIPAA regulations published on December 28, 2000 in Volume 65 of the Federal Register. The preamble to the Privacy Rule specifically mentions poison control centers (page 82626), stating:
We note that poison control centers are health care providers for purposes of this rule. We consider the counseling and follow-up consultations provided by poison control centers with individual providers regarding patient outcomes to be treatment. Therefore, poison control centers and other health care providers can share protected health information about the treatment of an individual without a business associate contract. (View reference.)
North Carolina Poison Control requests and utilizes only the patient information needed to manage poisoning exposure cases on which our Specialists and Medical Toxicologists have been consulted. North Carolina Poison Control keeps all patient information from these cases confidential and manages them in compliance with HIPAA regulations.
For further clarification of the Privacy Rule and preamble, view the letter to North Carolina Poison Control (formerly, Carolinas Poison Center) from Joyce G. Somsak, former Associate Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.