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Focus on Patient Confidentiality

Posted on December 4, 2014 | 1 Comment on Focus on Patient Confidentiality

Patient confidentiality is the right of an individual patient to have his/ her medical and personal information/ data kept private or not disclosed without one’s specific consent or permission. This information is usually only available only to healthcare provider/ physician or insurance. This right is also protected by law thus, a violation of patient confidentiality could lead to court litigation.  Patient confidentiality is extension of the right to privacy of an individual aimed to protect one’s personal records and data to others, who may use such data to their advantage or to the inconvenience of the person.  This is especially important in our modern information age where electronic data are easily retrievable, transferable and disseminated.

Patient confidentiality is maintained when researchers use the medical information of a person for case or research studies without divulging identity of the patient or revealing any other data that could provide  clues that can trace identity of the patient.   Confidentiality is breached if patients identity is revealed or traced.

The biggest threat to medical privacy happens when claiming insurance because health records of a patient become accessible not only to physicians but insurance companies employees and other institutions especially if said claim undergoes legal contest.

Confidentiality is vital for a maintaining good patient-doctor relationship and forms part of the Hippocratic Oath that medical practitioners pledged.  The attrition of patient confidentiality can similarly destroy public’s confidence to the medical profession while making health care workers vulnerable to litigation, whose costs and time are troublesome.

The issue of patient confidentiality is a complex matter.  Some states and countries provide exceptions to confidentiality especially those pertaining to mental health information of a person in which disclosure is allowed without patient consent.  For instance, mental information of a mentally impaired person is made available to treatment providers, financial support providers, researchers, family members and relatives and even to law enforcement officials.

The moral and the legal principles of patient confidentiality are entrenched in the set of values surrounding doctor-patient relationship.  Confidentiality is vital in the relationship so that a patient can truly trust one’s doctor/ caregiver of his life.



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  1. thea ilarde Reply

    Sir/Madam, magandang araw ho maari ho bang makadala ng HOUSEPLANT sa kwarto ng pasyente, salamat ho,gumagalang, thea ilarde

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