Importance of patient confidentiality

Topics: Health care, Health care provider, Patient Pages: 3 (843 words) Published: October 17, 2013

The Importance of Patient Confidentiality
Unit 9 Final Project

Health care professionals have a duty to maintain confidentiality for their patients. Health professionals may not disclose any patient information revealed by a patient or discovered by a physician in connection with the treatment of a patient. Patients put all of their trust into healthcare professionals and it is their job to protect patients’ private information. Consequences will be made if patient confidentiality is disclosed. The security of patient information is crucial because there are many risk factors that could occur.

The disclosing of patient information can put patients at risk. Many problems could occur if patient information isn’t kept confidential. Someone could get their social security number, steal their identity or even find out their address. Other healthcare providers gossiping about a patients’ information such as an STD, could get around to others that the patient may know personally and that can mentally, emotionally and physically affect a patient. . In general, AMA's Code of Medical Ethics states that the information disclosed to a physician during the course of the patient-physician relationship is confidential to the utmost degree. (“American Medical Association,” 2013, Para. 1) If patient confidentiality is revealed than there are consequences that will follow. Health care professionals could be terminated for a certain period of time or completely fired from the job depending on the situation. Health care providers or even the facility could be sued. Also health care providers could lose patients’ trust because they could hear by word of mouth that patient information is not secure, and they are not a trustworthy facility. Illegal actions could potentially mean jail time or court depending on the situation. Maintaining patient confidentiality is a legal duty as well as an ethical duty. (“American Medical Association,” 2013,...

References: In text Citation: (Alta, Anderson, Steele, 2000, para.3)
(“American Medical Association,” 2013, Para. 1)
(“American Medical Association,” 2013, Para. 2)
(“American Medical Association,” 2013, Para. 6)
Alta, V. Anderson, JD. Steele, D. (September 26, 2000) Confidentiality and Privacy Outline. Webmedia Retrieved May 27, 2013 from
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