Ethical Healthcare Issue
Ethical Healthcare Issue
Several concerns seem to overcome the whole healthcare system in a whole. All the medical employees try to give the best care to their patients and they should be extremely informed of the very basic principles in health care and that starts with confidentiality. Providing patient privacy and confidentiality are essential to promoting a bond between patients and his or her practitioner’s as well as preserving the patient’s dignity (Edge & Grove, 2007).
On occasion, patient confidentiality and privacy are broken and the patient’s information accessed without consent.
The ethical dilemma of confidential information regarding patients being accessed by unnecessary employee’s of a local health care system and used for personal reasons as well as those that are affected by this breach in confidentiality will be explored in this paper. A proposed solution to this issue and how the administration of this health care system handled a previous similar situation will also be identified.
Breaching patient confidentiality is an ethical dilemma that invades a patient’s right to privacy and this happened at a health care facility in Michigan in March 2008. The Governor was a patient at this facility and many people violated her right to privacy by gathering her personal information for his or her own use. The health care facility does routine audits of the computer system and found multiple violations of the Governors confidentiality. The state law requires notification of the Department of Community Health and making them aware of the discipline regarding these employees (Smith, 2008).
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The health care system went through and fired every one of these employees whom had violated the Governors privacy. The health care system issued a statement to the media that they take the public’s privacy matters very seriously and there are policies in place to assure that the patient’s health information is secure (Smith, 2008).
Such ethical dilemmas have taken place in health care systems all over the United States. The breaching of patients health care information affects more than just the patient involved. It also affects the person whom has violated the patient’s privacy. The health care administration has to hold those responsible accountable and must discipline those and the organization itself. Patients considering his or her health care options may select another facility because they fear the health care systems inability to assure patient privacy and select another medical facility or hospital for all their healthcare needs and concerns.
Ethically and legally doctors and nurses are required to give health information security for their patients (Christoff, 2008).
As technology increases in the health care arena, the task of protecting patient information has become more and more complicated. This is the why in 1996 HIPAA was signed by legislation. This happened to be the first time national legislation passed assuring the protection and privacy of personnel information about their health (Henderson, 2009).
The passing of Health Insurance Portability Act called for set principles of training for all those in the health care field and called for these facilities to offer education for their employees regarding the protection and privacy of all patient information (Edge & Groves, 2007).
In this paper, we will compare and contrast Skilled Nursing Facilities from 20 years ago to today. Skilled Nursing facilities of today are both similar and different from what they were like two decades ago. Similarities comprise of the organizational structure, including different departments, and the various roles within those departments. The roles of nurses, doctors, administrators, and ...
Federal civil as well as criminal penalties are possible against individuals along with financial punishments for both the employee and the facility they work in (Erickson & Millar, 2007).
The facility took action for violating the Governor’s privacy by firing a reported 138 employees (Christoff, 2008).
A list of terminated employee’s is not available to the public. The internal audit showed that this breach in private health information was an isolated incidence. The health care system itself avoided a fine, but the administration agreed to provide more training for all employees regarding HIPAA. Every employee in the health care system completed a five-part computer based education module on HIPAA. In completing the new HIPAA education module, each employee had to sign a paper stating that he or she completely understood the ramifications legal and otherwise in violating a patient’s right to confidentiality. Along with the education on the HIPAA laws, associates were also asked to please remind his or her friends and co-workers about the importance of maintaining every patients right to privacy and confidentiality each time he or she were a patient. The ethical and legal responsibility in a health care system to maintain a patient’s confidentiality is up to all the people who work within the facility.
Fundamental ethical principles are very real in the field of health care and making sure the patient’s records are private is number one on the list (Edge & Groves, 2007).
Each patient has a right to private and confidential information about their health. There are times when breaches occur as seen in this health care system.
When it comes to the four major ethical principles there are many ways they can be applied to the HIPAA. Beneficence is about the physician having an obligation to the patient to make sure the information about their health is kept private. This would be an action to doing well by the patient. Non-malficence is about not causing any harm to the patient. The significant ethical issue is whether the benefits outweigh the burdens. Physicians need to make sure they are not harming the patient by handing out their private information to others unless otherwise noted on their chart. Autonomy is that the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment along with choosing who they want to let their medical information out to. It is not up to the doctor or nurses who they spread their information to. The patient makes this decision and signs the HIPAA form and puts on there who they can share the information with. The last ethical principle justice means respecting the rights of each and every patient. The doctor must be fair to the patients and make sure the patient gets the proper care.
... health information (http://search. proquest. com). Another example of a different kind of violation under the HIPAA Privacy rule is not disclosing a patients’ ... these laws. Health plans, most health care providers and health care clearinghouses have to follow HIPAA Privacy ... patients’ medical records and their privacy could be different kind of software used; maybe a passcode for specific employees ...
Because of the quick development of technology in the field of health care today, HIPAA became act. The passing of this act helped to redirect the efforts of communication within health care and associates with patients, their families and with their co-workers (Erickson & Millar, 2007).
The breaching of a patient’s right to privacy in this situation and the seriousness of this violation cited in holding every one of the individuals involved accountable for their lack of ethics. All ethical principles can be seen and used in any type of issue that may arise. Making sure patients are protected and receive the respect and care they deserve is the most important part of the HIPAA.
Christoff, C. (2008).
Workers disciplined for peek at Granholm medical file. Retrieved June 9, 2011, from http://patientprivacyrights.org/2008/
Edge, R. S., & Groves, J. R. (2007).
Ethics of health care: A guide for clinical practice (3rd ed.).
Clifton Park, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.
Erickson, J., & Millar, S. (2007).
Caring for patients while respecting their privacy: Renewing our commitment. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 10(2), 26-37. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from EBSCOhost database.
From the crc blog: nosy staff get the boot!. Retrieved June 11, 2011, from www.hcpro.com/CRD-218097-4866/From-the-Blog-Nosy-staff-get-the-boot.html
Henderson, M. (2009).
Retrieved June 10, 2011, from
Smith, S. (2008).
Hospital workers tried to access Granholm records. Retrieved June 11, 2011, from www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/08/hospital_workers_tried_to_acce.html
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