The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's laws ensure that the privacy of all patients is maintained, unless legally required to be shared with government organizations or other healthcare professionals. These laws protect patients' privacy in physical environments such as doctors' offices, as well as in cyber storage.
HIPAA laws cover health plans, hospitals, doctors and even access by family members. All medical professionals are required to ensure that patient information is hidden from public view at all times. This may mean locking computers, using special electronic cover sheets for fax and email, or requiring special authorization to be on file to share patient information with others outside of the medical practice.