Administrative Ethics Paper - Patient Privacy

Administrative Ethics Paper - Patient Privacy

Patient privacy is a major concern for all health care professionals. When a patient’s privacy is leaked out the patient is the one that is most affected. Depending on the person or people that know this personal information depends on the over all affects. Do to all of the side effects the government put into action the patient privacy act and HIPPA. This is their solution to ensuring patient privacy is met at all times. Since HIPPA has been put into place in the health care filed, there have been less patient privacy issues.

The issue is patient privacy. How to keep the patients information safe and private? How to keep the patients privacy while at the doctor? What information do you give out? Or what information can you give out? These all fall under the patient’s privacy act or HIPPA. Patient’s privacy is the right of that person. The individual has the right to keep information about them from being disclosed. This means that the individual is in control of others access to them or information about themselves. The only person that can give out their personal information is you and you deiced when and where to do that. Patient privacy affects every population. Every person sees a doctor, dentist, emergency room visit, or therapy in their life time. So everyone’s personal information/chart is somewhere. This means we are all affected by patient privacy. When the information is given out, stolen or not properly filed there is identity thief. Personal information about ones health is given to someone else who isn’t allowed to view or have access to it. Patient privacy is important to all health care professionals and that is why there are solutions in place, in case a patient’s privacy has been broken.

There are a few ways to fix patient privacy issues. When doing an email it isn’t necessary to put the patient’s name in any electronic correspondence. All health care professionals should refrain from putting the name in the subject line to help keep patient information secure. The other concerns in regards to patient privacy are electronic messages occasionally go to the wrong person. The electronic message could be addressed to many locations. The internet is not a secure way to transport confidential information unless both people involved are using encryption technologies. They worst way to transmit information is a fax machine. Fax machines are not secure and should always come with a warning on the cover page. The warning should state: “The information contained in this electronic message and any attachments to this message are intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s) and may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not intended recipient, please notify me immediately and destroy all copies of this message and any attachments.” This is also known as a HIPPA breach and all HIPPA breach incidents must be reported as well. These are a few concerns in regards to patient privacy. The solutions to patient privacy are people other then the addressee may process messages during normal businesses hours or while on vacation. Information that is written can be sent electronically to other care providers, which is convent, but comes with a high risks. The solution to this problem can be password protection. Ensuring information is being sent to the correct person. By putting certain information in emails, so that the patient’s privacy is not in jeopardy. As health care managers we need to make our staff more aware of patient privacy. We need to increase our efforts to protect our patient’s privacy everyday.

The legal issue with patient privacy can be pricy. When a patient’s privacy issue occurs then the proper steps need to be followed. The health care industry must report this occurrence. Depending on the situation there could be fines and people could lose their job. The organization can be fined for the mistake. When you receive information from an out side source that wasn’t meant for you, you must report that as well. The health care organization must follow all guidelines to patient privacy and HIPPA. Ethically you should do the right thing, by destroying what you received. You should call and report it right away and let the organization know what happened. You should call the people that sent the information if at all possible and explain to them what happened as well. Then the proper coaching should take place so this occurrence doesn't happen again. It is the organizations responsibility to ensure the patient’s privacy is always protected.

The managerial responsibilities are to train all staff properly. The manager should stay on top of this issue. When an occurrence does happen then the manager needs to coach that person. If the occurrence happens time and time again then the manager should write the person up or term them. It is the manager’s job to make sure every patient's privacy is protected at any given time. The manager needs to do anything and everything possible to correct and fix the situation immediately. Then report the issue so that no fines or any other situation occurs. I think that training regularly on this issue in any health care organization is a must. The manager should always stay on top of this issue. They should be aware of how to handle the issue if it should arise and always keep the patients privacy their number one priority. No organization should ever cover up a HIPPA violation or breach. They should realize they did something wrong and address the problem. They shouldn’t allow it to continue. This will help the manager stay on top of situations like this.

Patient privacy is the most important part of an organization. The patient puts trust into the organization to keep their information private. Their information should never be given out without consent. They should always feel safe and protected with that organization. The health care organization should know how to handle any information that is given to them. The organization should know how to handle a HIPPA breach, patient privacy mishap, or what information to give out and when. This is the most important part to making any health care organization run properly and efficiently.

References
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/506840_4