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Volume 60
Number 8
October 2009


Flu Frenzy
Flu Experts at the Centers for Disease Control are unequivocal about the best way to foil seasonal flu: Get vaccinated every fall. Considering that patient safety is an institutional priority, protecting yourself and others against influenza is a must. Flu shots and FluMist are now available at the hospital’s Broadway corridor—free of charge—to all staff, students and volunteers who work at The John Hopkins Hospital and University. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special hours on Oct. 1 and 15 are 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Oct. 4 and 10: 6 to 10 a.m. Note that this vaccination campaign concerns the seasonal flu and is NOT about the H1N1 flu vaccination. Details will follow when the H1N1 vaccine becomes available. Anyone with direct patient contact must receive the influenza vaccine or complete the online influenza questionnaire form ( if they decide not to get the vaccine. Employees who have not received the influenza vaccine will be required to wear a mask within three feet of a patient. Vaccinated staff will receive a yellow ID badge clip to show that they have received the vaccination. Info: Debbie Dooley at

HIPAA Revisited
As we learned in 1996, when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act went into effect, there are myriad ways to violate one’s health privacy. Now, in an attempt to clarify privacy breaches, a new act, called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), was recently signed into law. It requires that every “breach event” be reported immediately to the HIPAA office, or those involved will be subject to penalties. Examples of such events include theft or loss of a computer or other electronic device containing personal health information, theft or loss of paper records with PHI, and sending or faxing a progress note or bill with PHI to the wrong person—to name a few. As soon as the breach is reported, the HIPAA Office will provide forms to collect the details. Additional info: and the Johns Hopkins Privacy Officer, 410-735-6509, or



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