Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Rebecca Anderson

Second Committee Member

Sherri Jones

Third Committee Member

Preethy Nayar


Purpose: To evaluate the service learning clinical training facility’s HIPAA training by assessing student-clinician knowledge of the clinic’s HIPAA Compliance Plan and the impact of its training on student-clinician perceptions toward HIPAA-compliant patient-provider communication (PPC). For example, do student-clinicians feel it is important to be HIPAA-compliant and are they confident in discussing health-related activities and programs with patients or caregivers? The purpose of this project is not, at this time, to measure student-clinician intention to perform the behavior.

Methods: This project employed a mixed-methods, non-experimental cross-sectional study design using a retrospective post-test survey and group interview. The survey was administered to student-clinicians (N = 39) at the service learning clinical training facility who were enrolled in the speech-language pathology and audiology programs. Survey responses were analyzed using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test and descriptive statistics assessing knowledge. A group interview was conducted with a subset of first-year student-clinicians (n = 2). The group interview provided additional context and insight into how student-clinicians may actually perform when presented with the most common clinical scenarios for PPC at the clinic such as, 1) caregivers accompanying clients into the exam room, 2) email communication with a caregiver requesting information to assist the client, and 3) communication with a client in a public space. Common themes and the most common responses for each scenario were identified.

Results: Overall, the Wilcoxon-signed rank test showed that the clinic’s HIPAA training produces a statistically significant improvement in student clinician perception six months post training as it relates to HIPAA-compliant PPC through analysis of perceptions toward self-efficacy (Z = -4.814, p

Recommendations: 1) Based on the findings of the service learning activities and the evaluation, implementation of HIPAA training sessions periodically throughout the academic year in addition to continuation of the current annual training session should be completed. 2) Further evaluation of the clinic’s workforce in relation to behavioral intention to complete HIPAA-compliant PPC should be completed through replication of the evaluation using a traditional pre-post survey administered immediately before, after and 6 months post annual training. 3) The Clinic should implement electronic forms to assist the workforce when reporting a breach in HIPAA privacy. An electronic reporting process might enable a greater sense of one’s ability to perform a behavior while increasing confidentiality of the reporter.