Argumentative Essay on Patients' Confidentiality in Healthcare

Date:  2021-06-17 02:52:42
7 pages  (1898 words)
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Vanderbilt University
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Argumentative essay
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Privacy is important in the health care thread. Confidentiality involves the process through which a doctor, nurse, and medical providers ensure their patient's information is private unless where there is the paramount need to break that confidentiality. Privacy enables patients to feel secure, while consulting medical providers, to share personal information which may help them get medical help. If there is no confidentiality between the patient and the doctor, there would be no trust between them. Lack of secrecy will break the physician to the patient relationship that could have existed between them. The latter will lead to patients not trusting the doctors who could affect their health negatively. Creating an environment where the patient believes the doctors encourages the patient to be as honest as possible when they go for treatments. The latter is possible if the doctors keep information about their patient's private as possible.

Confidentiality calls for the prohibition of healthcare providers sharing information about their patients to other people without permission from the patients or law. It also advocates for secure health care systems that are safe to allow authorized access only. If a doctor "S" has information about a patient "t" then a person "U" should not obtain that information in the ordinary course of action without the consent or approval of the patient "T." Health information is highly personal and therefore patients need to have confidence in the medical providers that there is privacy protected. What then information is considered to be confidential? Information that is known to be confidential involves any clinical information about an individuals diagnosis and treatment. A picture or video or photograph and any other type of image of a patient I also knew to be confidential. Information that can be used to trace a patient down directly or indirectly is also known to be confidential. The information may include the patients home address, phone numbers, sex, religion, marital status, insurance information and health problems and conditions.

It is necessary to keep documentation and electronic information secure to protect patient's information, and Medical providers should also exercise caution when discussing patients information. It also needs to ensure that the need to know. Mismanaged confidential information, might get lost. Confidentiality violation of patients information can take place via email or health information networks. The latter include telephones, mail, e-mails and memos. In case data confidentiality is violated by fellow employees for example nurses it is the responsibility of a disciplined nurse to go and report the incident to the supervisor immediately. Breach of confidentiality and patient privacy can result in costly lawsuits for health care providers and facilities. Data privacy violation is a criminal offense and those found guilty of the crime are charged a maximum penalty of $25000 for repeat violations. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) monitor patients privacy and confidentiality.

Although there are guidelines that help track privacy breach of patients what are the employees themselves decide to breach the confidentiality of patient. In Guthrie Clinic Steuben Corning, New York a nurse learned that his patient had a sexually transmitted disease. The nurse then sent six messages to the girlfriend who also happened to be her sister in law about the patients condition. The patient, John Doe, when he learned about the text, he was very bitter and called the clinic to complain and then filed a complaint hence sued the hospital. Even if the hospital immediately lay off the nurse, John Doe complained that the clinic had breached their responsibility to keep his health information confidential.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was accused of violating patient confidentiality when he posted a photo to his 70,000

Twitter followers from a hospital visit. He was faced with critics by medics at the University College Hospital when the picture he posted revealed a list of patients written on a board behind him. Jeremy Hunt was asked to issue an apology for violation of patient's confidentiality." (Matthew and wilgress). Mr. Hunt made a huge mistake when he went further defended his plans to impose new seven-day working contracts. (Matthew and wilderness) Even if the picture was edited to take out the information, Jeremy Hunt was asked to issue an apology for violation of patients confidentiality.

Another case is that of a nurse who was a sexual health adviser at the Countess of Chester Hospital faced suspension when he disclosed patient information to a third party. The disclosure of the patients sensitive information was seen as a breach of contract and had caused the patient distress because he had kept the illness a secret from his children for nine years. Since the allegations, Mr. Newman faced suspension from nursing for nine months. Currently, he is a part-time driver and has moved away from the area. (reporter) Despite the fact that doctors try to maintain patients confidentiality at all cost there are many limitations regarding safeguarding patient's privacy. Lets take an example of a psychiatrist, he or she might feel the need to consult another psychiatrist professionally about a case. The psychologist tries so hard to keep the information of the patient confidential to avoid revealing their identity. If his or her colleague does not object to not knowing the identity of the patient, the psychologist does not object unless they feel that it is essential to share that kind of information. If the psychiatrist feels that his or her patient is vulnerable to danger, he may feel obliged to consult family members who can help provide protection. However, this breaches patient confidentiality. There are other situations when a health advisor is required to disclose a patients personal information without their consent. In the case where a patient is involved in a court proceeding, and the jury asks for a medical report is provided with or without patients consent. When a government agency requests information for health oversight activities, a medical provider might be forced to give it to them.

In cases where a patient files a claim against the medical provider, the health provider might be compelled to disclose relevant information to defend his or herself. However, in some situation, the medical provider is obligated to take action even if he or she will breach patient confidentiality. Let's take an example of a kid who is below eighteen years is suspected to go through abuse. The law expects that the medical provider will file a report with county directors of social services. He or she may is required to offer additional information. The psychiatrist may feel the need disclose patients information to a third party if he or she believes that his or her patient presents an imminent danger to the health and safety of another. The information helps protective action to be taken such as initiating hospitalization and also warning the potential victims.

Confidentiality is a moral and ethical that observed in the medical thread. Confidentiality does not only involve keeping patients information private; real privacy includes closing the door when a patient is being examined or drawing of curtains. Privacy helps build trust and respect among the patient and medical providers who are essential for their relationships. If there is no confidence among the patient and the doctors the patients will not feel free to share information with fear that the medical personnel will expose all information. Most medical providers own personal blogs that focus on enlighten the public on disease treatment and healthy living. It will be a breach of patient's confidentiality if the doctor exposes patients personal information on their blog.

It is also essential to keep the patients trust hence promoting profitable business. An example of a scenario is that of a private doctor owning a private clinic. He or she should maintain patient's confidentiality so that he or she can keep the client's loyalty. It is the moral and ethical thing to do. Observing patient confidentiality can be tricky. Let's take an example of an elderly patient. Supposed a patient is an older man who is very sick and has been ill for a while. His family is not financially stable enough to cater for his medical expenses. The old man hospitalized for eight years for example. He confides to his nurse that he needs her or him to help him terminate his life. The decision is because he feels that he is suffering a lot and he is a burden to his family. What do you think the medical provider should do? Should he or she inform the family of the patient of the patients decision or should he or she observe confidentiality and not tell the family about the old mans decision.

It is important to note that the old man is not old enough to make solid decisions. The medical provider can be compelled to breach the confidentiality and inform the relatives of the old man. In case the patient is in so much distress and suffers from a condition such as a brain damage and wants to quit medication, he might be advised to write a will so that the people close to him do not suffer. However, it is important to gear their decision to prolonging life just a little bit longer. Although the decision whether it is ethical to end a persons life is a dilemma question, in my opinion, I would advise health care providers should break confidentiality rules and inform those closest to the patient.

From the above, we can conclude that patient confidentiality refers to keeping patients personal information away from an authorized third party. If a person "S" has information about a person "t" then a person "U" should not obtain that information in the ordinary course of action without the consent or approval of the person "T Confidentiality is a moral and ethical issue that observed in the medical thread. Confidentiality does not only involve keeping patients information private; real privacy includes closing the door when a patient is being examined or drawing of curtains. Privacy enables patients to feel secure, while consulting medical providers, to share personal information which may help them get medical help. If there is no confidentiality between the patient and the doctor, there would be no trust between them. Confidentiality faces limitations from the government and the health providers themselves. For example, if the psychiatrist feels that his or her patient is vulnerable to danger, he may feel obliged to consult family members who can help provide protection. However, this breaches patient confidentiality. There are other situations when a health advisor is required to disclose a patients personal information without their consent.

In the case where a patient is involved in a court proceeding, and the jury asks for a medical report. The medical provider gives a report with or without patients consent. When a government agency requests information for health oversight activities, a medical provider might be forced to give it to them. The latter breaks patient confidentiality. Several organizations have been formed to make sure that patient confidentiality observed. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) monitor patient's privacy and confidentiality. Several cases of violation of patient privacy have led to employees involved facing serious consequences. Two examples of cases involved mentioned above include a case of a nurse who is a ''sexual health adviser at the Co...

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