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Health Care Rights Essay

740 words - 3 pages

I. Introduction
The correlation of increased potential patient rights violations and sensitive personal health data among electronic medical records than paper records is growing at an alarming rate. An estimated 52,000 public comments was reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring privacy regulations governing individually identifiable health information since the passage of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (HIPPA). The individually identifiable health information includes demographic data that relates to the individuals past, present, or future physical or mental health condition. In addition, the provision of health care rights of the individual, confidentiality, protection of patient information, and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe can be used to identify the individual. Common identifiers for example are name, address, birth date, and Social Security Number. While protecting an individual’s privacy is a longstanding tradition among health-care providers, there are continued levels of inconsistent inadequacies to include treatment and care, responsibility to patient, medication and drug injuries, and ethical concerns.
Concerns for breaches of confidentiality are acting without the patient’s consent or court order. Disclosure of valuable information can be oral or written, by telephone or electronically for example, ABC News reporter Callaway (2009) reported “For Medical Secrets, Try Face book”. Callaway’s report listed “some 13% of US medical schools reporting that their students have leaked confidential information about patients via blogs or social networking websites.” Even though the students did not mention names, there was enough personal information provided such as the medical conditions involved and the hospitals, for patients who were described and their families to recognize. Other concerns are conversations within the hospital cafeterias/lobbies about patients and their families, and employees sharing information throughout the hallways without a “need to know.” Once employees discover their colleagues looking at patient information without a “need to know basis,” and, other wrong doings according to the agency’s standards, their own sense of what is right and wrong instantly comes into question. Reporting the unethical behavior, the employee who had discovered the violations of patient rights is presented with a number of difficult choices. The legal basis for imposing liability for a breach of...

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