Sign-in sheets

February 4, 2005

What are HIPAA's guidelines for public sign-in sheets?

Q: What are HIPAA's guidelines for public sign-in sheets?

A: There are none, except that you must take reasonable steps to restrict information to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose. In practice, offices have taken a number of measures to protect patient privacy. For example, some use a paper flap to cover the names preceding the name of the person signing in. Others circumvent problems altogether by doing away with patient sign-in sheets, instead having the receptionist write down the names of patients as they enter.