Certified Ombudsman are permitted to access resident records if this access is necessary to investigate a complaint made by or on behalf of a resident. Prior to seeking access to a resident record a Certified Ombudsman must obtain permission from the resident or the legal representative of the resident. Permission is considered to be granted when the resident or the legal representative of the resident signs an Authorization and Waiver of Confidentiality Form or the Certified Ombudsman has received verbal permission and they have signed the Contemporaneous Signature Section of the Authorization and Waiver of Confidentiality Form.
Please note that neither the Older Americans Act nor the Social Security Act, as amended by OBRA, requires that permission must be in writing; however, whenever possible, written permission is preferred.
When reviewing the record, Certified Ombudsman shall not examine any portion of the resident record that is not consistent with the complaint. Additionally, the Certified Ombudsman shall not remove the original record from the facility nor shall they disclose to any person outside of the Ombudsman Program any information obtained from the record.
If you have any questions please call the office for clarification and assistance prior to reviewing any resident record.