HealthcareIn the healthcare environment, the privacy of thepatient is of the utmost importanceConfidentiality is not only the patient’s right, it is thelawAMAs Code of Medical Ethics states that theinformation disclosed to a physician during thecourse of the patient-physician relationship isconfidential to the utmost degree.
What Is Our Responsibility?Maintaining patient confidentiality is a legal duty aswell as an ethical dutyA physicians legal obligations are defined by the USConstitution, by federal and state laws andregulations, and by the courts.Despite these ethical and legal obligations, access toconfidential patient information has become moreprevalent.
What Can We Do?Processes and Procedures Must ChangeLeaders and managers must be more awareThe general rule regarding release of a patientsmedical record is that information contained in apatients medical record may be released to thirdparties only if the patient has consented to suchdisclosure.Passwords and access must be restricted
Consequences?Failure to get the appropriate release for medicalrecords may have serious results.Unauthorized entry into patient records will alsoresult in disciplinary actionHolding employees accountable will curbunauthorized behavior
Next StepsLeaders and managers adopt new processesMore security surrounding passwordsVigilance when releasing recordsTracking of accountability/write-upsShare knowledge regarding laws and patientconfidentiality