Issues of Patient Confidentiality - Essay Example

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Summary
Ethical questions, particularly in the medical field, always draw extensive interest and awareness from the public. Currently, the amalgamation of several forces - civil liberties and consumer rights interest groups, technical advancements, community education, the repercussions of law and economics in the area of healthcare - require that medical practitioners coherently express the moral codes that direct their actions, whether in research, as educators, in clinical care or as plain citizens…
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Issues of Patient Confidentiality
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Download file to see previous pages Such information must be accessible only to the surgeon, and when necessary, to specific health care and insurance workers. Simply put, patient confidentiality denotes that personal and medical data granted to a health care provider should not be divulged to other people who do not have a need to know except if the patient has conferred explicit authorization for such release. Since the revelation of personal information could trigger professional or personal setbacks, patients depend on medical practitioners to uphold the privacy of their medical information. However, nowadays, it is common for medical records to be shared with several people for a number of reasons. The most common violation of confidentiality occurs when clinicians distribute medical data utilized in case studies. As per procedure, as soon as data is circulated in specialized periodicals, the character/personality of the patient is never disclosed and all information that could lead to the identification of the patient are also removed or altered, however, if this confidentiality is infringed in whatever way, patients have the right to take legal action (Fremgen, 2008; Rosenbaum, 2002, pp. 906-907; Landrum, 2003, pp. 222-223; Hubbard, Glover and Hartley, 2003; Carter, 2003).
Implications
In the case study, particular legislations and state regulations have been infringed. For one, there was a breach in confidentiality based on the Patient's Bill of Rights under the provision on Confidentiality of Health Information and the person most accountable for the said violation is Dr. Orbit's medical assistant, Sabrina. Likewise, aside from violating a patient's right to privacy, Sabrina's disclosure of Katrina's circumstance to her husband desecrated the provisions contained in the AAMA Code of Ethics, which explicitly stipulated that as medical assistants they are to "respect confidential information obtained through employment unless legally authorized or required by responsible performance of duty to divulge such information" (AAMA Code of Ethics, 1996). By divulging such information to Roger (who really does not have a need to know), Sabrina acted unethically.
In like manner, there was also an encroachment of the Privacy and Security Rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Privacy Rule demands that covered entities, such as that health care provider operated by Dr. Orbit, take sensible measures to guarantee the secrecy of interactions and exchanges with individuals. In this case, Dr. Orbit appears not to be so keen on his patients' privacy as evidenced by his nurse' sloppy disclosure of their patients' situation, meaning, if they had been cautious and vigilant about their commitment to preserve patient confidentiality, such revelation should not have taken place. On the other hand, the Administrative Safeguards under HIPAA's Security Rule have also been disregarded. First, under such rule, healthcare entities must implement a set of privacy procedures on paper and assign a privacy officer who would be responsible for executing all necessary policies and procedures. Obviously, Dr. Orbit's ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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