Building Trust while Safeguarding Patient Privacy
Privacy is a complex issue. It is complex in the sense that it means different things to different people and in different situations. It is more of a contextual thing. However, in its most plain form, privacy may mean that state of a person being under no any surveillance. When this element topic is trickled down to medical privacy, then the definition of privacy extends to encompass confidentiality and security. This is where collection, storage and even usage of a patient’s information are summed up to define patient’s privacy. Thus, a patient’s privacy refers to the confidentiality and security with which patient’s information is handled ...view middle of the document...
To build this trust may not be as easy as it may seem to be. It is a process that encompasses a lot of factors the primary one being privacy. This is becomes more complex when third parties are involved because if payments are made by other parties, then trust is a major issue of concern. In addition to this, trust comes about because of professional competence and it needs to be well cultivated through transparency. Building this trust solely depends on how patient privacy is to be safeguarded. ( l.pdf)
Privacy and trust are not only very important elements in the medical professional, but also transcend across all other areas of human life. In fact, many constitutions of different countries in the world specifically identify and acknowledge the importance of privacy and thus goes ahead to enshrine it in their constitutions. All this happens in the believe that privacy, and more so patient privacy, is the most basic human good that fortunately or unfortunately has an intrinsic value attached to it. This is why it is regarded as the element that helps much in personal decision making, individuality and respect. Privacy is important because it upholds human dignity and defines the worth of an individual. Privacy is also instrumental in development of interpersonal relationships and has a potential to cause harm especially when not safeguarded. It is also known to promote effective communication that is very much needed between the healthcare provider and patient. Privacy is not only concerned with hiding that which is of shame but also is very instrumental in establishing social relationships. In fact, it is a social phenomenon that helps people on how to relate to each. The way you relate to the doctor is not exactly the same way you will relate with your boss. This is because perhaps the doctor knows more of you than your boss knows.
Americans regard their privacy very much. They are even ready to incur more to guard it (Joy L. Pritts, JD). This can be attributed to the fact that privacy can hurt. Yes privacy has the ability to hurt. This comes in the form of discrimination. When somebody’s information is leaked to the wrong party, may say through system hacking, then that person who has stolen such information may use to the disadvantage of the patient. In America the patient databases are very large and this positions patient privacy in America as a social issue. When the privacy of such a database is put in jeopardy, then the whole population is threatened.
Therefore the importance of privacy cannot be underestimated in whatever circumstance and this is why it needs to be safeguarded. The safeguarding of this information not only ensures that these benefits are realized, but also ensures that trust between all the parties involved is strongly established. Unfortunately this has not been an easy-to-happen thing and hence the relevance of this study.
Evolution to current status
In the recent times, patience privacy have evoked heated...