Confidentiality Rights

Topics: Health care, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Medicine Pages: 6 (1006 words) Published: September 16, 2014

Jennifer Sherwood
Kaplan University
December 16, 2013

Confidentiality Rules
Upon arriving at a new physician’s office a patient is given a clipboard with several papers on it, and is told to fill it out and return to receptionist when finished. What are all these papers, and why do they need to be filled out? These are actually very important to the care that the patient will receive. Every time a patient is seen by health care professional important information is gathered. This information is only to be shared between the physician and the health professionals in that office. Included in that stack of papers is the confidentiality rights agreement. Every patient has rights, and it is the responsibility of the health professionals to explain these rights to them.

Confidentiality is a major part of medical records. Every time a patient receives medical treatment from a health professional, it is expected that their information will be kept confidential. In most cases this is clear cut, but there are many reasons that this trust can be breached. A great example is when Kate Middleton was seen at a hospital in London. The details of her current status were discussed over the phone without proper procedures being followed (Lowth, 2013). There are always extenuating circumstances as to why certain information should be shared with others. The patients’ rights should always be discussed and understood.

Technology is always changing the way that people do things. Before the only way a physician’s office was able to communicate with their patients was through the mail or over the phone. There are so many ways that people communicate now, and it is necessary to make sure that the patient information is kept confidential in every way possible. As a professional in the medical industry it is important to always safeguard personal health information. Never discuss personal information with anyone who is not directly working with this patient. Whenever it is necessary to reveal information make sure that only what is needed is released.

When a patient enters a health facility there are several papers that they have to fill out before the patient can be seen. These are the legal papers that must be filled out. A patient should fully read and understand any document that needs to be signed. Many people sign things, not having a clue what they signed. There should never be any rush to get this paper work done. Read and reread these documents if necessary. It is the duty of the medical recorder to make sure the patient is fully aware of the paperwork, and its importance. The understanding of these papers can make all the difference.

There are legal and ethical aspects to keeping a patients information private. The legal aspect, which is usually the one people expect out of the patient/doctor relationship. These are expectations that are required by law, and fulfilled by the physician and staff. They usually consist of set rules that need to be followed. Then there is the ethical aspect, which has to do with the principals of right from wrong. These things are different in that one is legally binding through the government, and the other is more of a moral value. (McGraw-Hill, 2010)

It is necessary for the patient to enter into a contract to receive services. The main type of contract would be expressed. This is when a patient gives written consent or verbally tells a physician what type of care that is expected. Therefore the physician is legally contracted by the patient to receive certain medical treatment. The patient gives permission to the medical office for all services. Any misconception can be cleared up through paperwork, making sure to express exactly what a patient wants from the medical office.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act known also as HIPAA, protects individuals medical records and other personal health...

References: Confidentiality of Personal Health Information - College of ...‎ (2013). Legal and Ethical Issues in Medical Practice. [online] Retrieved from:
Lowth, M. (2013). Confidentiality in the modern NHS: Part 1. Practice Nurse, 43(10), 48-51.
Mcgowan, C. (2012). Patients ' Confidentiality. Critical Care Nurse, 32(5), 61-65. doi:10.4037/ccn2012135
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