Policy For Release of Medical Records
In response to a question from a licensee the South Carolina Board of Veterinary
Medical Examiners have developed the following policy. This is in regards to various
companies who ask to access a clinic's medical records for promotional mailings.
Please make sure to share this information with the veterinarians you work for so
they know how the Board views participating in these mailings. If you would like
more information on this topic you can contact the Board at 803-896-4598
Safe Harbor Regarding: Request for Records
Consistent with the AVMA position, it is the position of the South Carolina Board
of Veterinary Medical Examiners that it is unethical practice to release patient records
containing information about diagnosis and treatment except to another veterinarian or in certain legal settings. The release of a list of patients who have or have not had a certain treatment or medication would be considered the release of records containing medical information.
Regarding the release of a client list generally for marketing purposes, because the AVMA and Veterinary practice act and regulations do not directly address this issue, the Board is of the opinion that this is a business decision not directly within the Board’s jurisdiction. The Board would however strongly caution its licensees to avoid the release of confidential patient information and to take into consideration the client’s reasonable expectations of privacy.
There are legal risks associated that may require advice from an attorney who represents the licensee(s) in question; to more completely avoid exposure of the licensee to a board complaint resulting from conduct outside the safe harbor position expressed above.
DHEC Radiology Safety
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) have regulations regarding safety when using radiological equipment. Regulation 4.12.22 Operator Requirements states “The registrant shall assure that all x-ray machines under his control are operated only by individuals adequately instructed in safe operating procedures and competent in the safe use of the equipment.” It then continues to outline what areas the individuals should be instructed on which are: Radiation Protection, Darkroom Techniques, Machine Safety and General Operating Procedures. Instruction for these areas shall begin with 30 days after employment and records must be maintained documenting the training. Such records shall be made available for Departmental inspection.
Now licensees such as Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Veterinarians receive their training in school and therefore are not required to have separate training. However, any assistants or non-licensed staff who are restraining or assisting in taking the radiographs do require training. There are different ways this training can be accomplished. You can develop a in-house training program that covers all the topics outlined, you can purchase a training CD staff can do individually or you can send staff to a seminar for training. If you want to develop an in-house training program you can contact Kyle Anderson, who is with DHEC Radiological Health, and she can give you an outline of everything you need to cover in the training. Her phone number is 803-545-4419. If you want to purchase a training CD, Landauer has one on their website at www.landauer.com/Industry/Products/Dosimeters/Radiation_Safety_Training_CD.aspx.
Also there are online training courses you can take but you would have to sign people up individually to take them whereas the CD can train multiple people. You can search the internet for various online courses that are available. If you want to go to a seminar in person they are usually offered at various CE seminars held throughout the year.
Licensed Veterinary Technicians can now give the rabies vaccination!
Rabies Clinic Fees Previously Capped at $3 Increased to Cap of $10
Legislation introduced to remove the $3.00 cap on rabies vaccinations administered at rabies clinics became law May 20th after a long and bumpy ride through the SC House, Senate, and Conference Committees before being ratified and making it to the Governor’s desk. In addition, Section 47-5-60 was also amended to require rabies inoculation of pets to be administered by a licensed veterinarian or someone under a licensed veterinarian’s direct supervision. The previous law did not firmly establish the administration of the rabies vaccination by a licensed veterinarian or someone under a licensed veterinarian’s direct supervision. However, it did require a licensed veterinarian to sign the certificate of
inoculation. "Direct supervision" means that a veterinarian currently licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this State is available on the premises and within immediate vocal communication of the supervisee.
SCAV has been supporting the removal of the $3.00 cap for many years. First enacted in 1976, this legislation capped the fee at $3.00 and over the years with increasing costs, there has been a decrease in the number of rabies clinics offered throughout South Carolina.
Below is the edited text of this section.
Inoculation of pets; rabies inoculations by or under supervision of veterinarian SECTION 1. Section 47-5-60 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 343 of 2002, is further amended to read: "Section 47-5-60. A pet owner must have his pet inoculated against rabies at a frequency to provide continuous protection of the pet from rabies using a vaccine approved by the department and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The rabies inoculation for pets must be administered by a licensed veterinarian or someone under a licensed veterinarian's direct supervision, as defined in Section 40-69-20. Evidence of rabies inoculation is a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian. The rabies vaccination certificate forms may be provided by the licensed veterinarian or by the department or its designee. The veterinarian may stamp or write his name and address on the certificate. The certificate must include information recommended by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. The licensed veterinarian administering or supervising the administration of the vaccine shall provide one copy of the certificate to the owner of the pet and must retain one copy in his files for not less than three years. With the issuance of the certificate, the licensed veterinarian shall furnish a serially numbered metal license tag bearing the same number and year as the certificate with the name and telephone number of the veterinarian, veterinary hospital, or practice. The metal license tag at all times must be attached to a collar or harness worn by the pet for which the certificate and tag have been issued. Annually before February first, the veterinarian shall report to the department the number of animals inoculated against rabies during the preceding year. The department, in conjunction with licensed veterinarians, shall promote annual rabies clinics. The fee for rabies inoculation at these clinics may not exceed ten dollars, including the cost of the vaccine, and this charge must be paid by the pet owner. Fees collected by veterinarians at these clinics are their compensation."