In some instances, confidentiality refers to not discussing internal goings-on with co-workers.
Balancing interests Confidentiality, privacy and security of health information: Balancing interests Written by Valerie S. Yet, each of these concepts has a different fundamental meaning and unique role.
This article will briefly explore differences in meaning of privacy, security and confidentiality of health information. Selected examples of sources of law and guidelines will be offered with respect to these concepts.
Challenges in balancing interests of individuals, healthcare providers and the public will be noted, as will the role of health information management professionals.
Confidentiality Confidentiality in health care refers to the obligation of professionals who have access to patient records or communication to hold that information in confidence. Confidentiality is recognized by law as privileged communication between two parties in a professional relationship, such as with a patient and a physician, a nurse or other clinical professional Brodnik, Rinehart-Thompson, Reynolds, While application in legal proceedings is subject to evidentiary rules and consideration of the public need for information, support of privileged communication can be seen in case law.
An example is the landmark Jaffee v. Redmond decision where the U. In writing the majority opinion, Justice Stevens said: Effective psychotherapy… depends upon an atmosphere of confidence and trust in which the patient is willing to make a frank and complete disclosure…The psychotherapist privilege serves the public interest by facilitating the provision of appropriate treatment for individuals suffering the effects of a mental or emotional problem Jaffee v.
When considering sensitive health information requiring special layers of confidentiality, such as with mental health treatment, state statutes provide guidance for health information management professionals.
In Illinois, for example, the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act offers detailed requirements for access, use and disclosure of confidential patient information including for legal proceedings MHDDCA, Privacy Privacy, as distinct from confidentiality, is viewed as the right of the individual client or patient to be let alone and to make decisions about how personal information is shared Brodnik, Even though the U.
Individuals are provided some elements of control, such as the right to access their own health information in most cases and the right to request amendment of inaccurate health information HHSa,pp. However, in that attempt to strike a balance, the Rule provides numerous exceptions to use and disclosure of protected health information without patient authorization, including for treatment, payment, health organization operations and for certain public health activities HHSa,pp.
Whatever one might think about HIPAA, it is hard to dispute that it has had a vast impact on patients, the healthcare industry, and many others over the last 10 years—and will continue to shape healthcare and HIM professionals for many more years to come. Roe, recognized the right to health information privacy This case considered a state statute requiring that physicians report for entry into a New York Department of Health computerized database information on prescription of certain types of drugs likely to be abused or over-prescribed; information included patient, physician and pharmacy name, and drug dosage McWay,p.
A group of patients and two physician associations filed suit, saying this violated the protected physician-patient relationship Whalen v. Interestingly, the Whalen decision also noted growing concern with collection of private information in electronic format, and the role of regulatory guidelines.
As stated by the Justices: We are not unaware of the threat to privacy implicit in the accumulation of vast amounts of personal information in computerized data banks…. Security Security refers directly to protection, and specifically to the means used to protect the privacy of health information and support professionals in holding that information in confidence.
The concept of security has long applied to health records in paper form; locked file cabinets are a simple example. As use of electronic health record systems grew, and transmission of health data to support billing became the norm, the need for regulatory guidelines specific to electronic health information became more apparent.
Again, that notion of balance appears in the law: Conclusion The sources of law and guidelines noted here are only samples of many considerations in health information confidentiality, privacy and security.
Managing electronic health information presents unique challenges for regulatory compliance, for ethical considerations and ultimately for quality of care.
A response to the challenge is information governance, described as the strategic management of enterprise-wide information including policies and procedures related to health information confidentiality, privacy and security; this includes the role of stewardship Washington, Patient confidentiality is one of the most important pillars of medicine.
Protecting the private details of a patient is not just a matter of moral respect, it is . There are many reasons why it is important to maintain confidentiality, including legal restrictions, ethical requirements and specific contractual agreements between parties such as a business and its employees or a business and its clients.
Why is confidentiality important?
Patients routinely share personal information with health care providers. If the confidentiality of this information were not protected, trust in the physician-patient relationship would be diminished. Importance of confidentiality Confidentiality is important for several reasons.
Human resource professionals should understand the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive employee information (e.g., Social Security numbers, performance reviews, workplace. Home > Resources > Articles > Confidentiality, privacy and security of health information: Balancing interests. Confidentiality, privacy and security of health information: Balancing interests. Written by Valerie S. Prater, MBA, RHIA, Clinical Assistant Professor Balancing the various interests in health information and . When is a confidentiality agreement most useful? A confidentiality agreement is most useful when you wish to maintain the secrecy of certain information that has been shared with certain others. Confidentiality agreements are used in variety of situations, including: During negotiations for the sale of .
One of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. Home > Resources > Articles > Confidentiality, privacy and security of health information: Balancing interests. Confidentiality, privacy and security of health information: Balancing interests.
Written by Valerie S. Prater, MBA, RHIA, Clinical Assistant Professor Balancing the various interests in health information and .