Protection of Healthcare information, comment

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Although we now have the magical HIPPA there are still medical facilities that do not follow or maintain this regulation. I realize that it is a benefit and convenience that physicians can now read their patients xrays, lab results, etc on email and by logging into a facility’s system, but how safe is this for the patient. If the physician can do it from his vacation spot, then what is to stop a hacker from doing it and placing it on the web or worse changing your information for his sick pleasure. I called for my personal records to a physician I had seen. I wanted to records sent to me to take for a second opinion. The medical records lady asked me what I wanted them for and when I explained I wanted so I could go elsewhere she stated no problem she would get them out to the address they had on file. I explained that I now had a POB and that I needed it sent to that address. She agreed. I signed nothing. I proved nothing. I was shocked. Having been in nursing for close to 20 yrs even “way back” we had to have a signature before we just sent out people’s information. When I got my records I reviewed them. Funny enough they had me listed on one xray report as a 77yr old wf. I am a 38 wf. The other part of the report was basically accurate, but the medication they had me on was inaccurate and the reason for the test was wrong. When I called the office to complain they laughed. Because of the problems I was having and the potential seriousness of the outcome, my new physician didn’t feel she could trust that report so I have had to pay to repeat the procedure and go through the procedure again. How scary is this? I was able to get my records without proving who I was and I received inaccurate reports. How many times does this happen? Now with the web involved it is even scarier to me. I wonder sometimes if my information is listed online. There are such websites that list individuals autopsy results. Now, most of these are famous people, but how upsetting would it be for you to google a loved one and read all about their autopsy and other medically sensitive information? I feel that we have an obligation to our patients to make sure their medical information is protected. We should treat our patients information as we would want ours treated. As an co-owner of a medical clinic I am very strict on my employees regarding patient confidentialty and I have even fired employees for discussing patients. This is wrong in my opinion. If it is not directly related to the patients care then it shouldn’t be discussed.

Original Post:
April 7, 2009
The differences among privacy, confidentiality and security The terms privacy, confidentiality and security are terms used to describe aspects of access that is the ability to obtain data and information for specific purposes any by specific users. Privacy, the individual’s right to limit the disclosure of personal information. The individual has the right to feel confident and trusting of the organization that their data and information will not be used inappropriately or released without their informed consent. Confidentiality is a condition in which that personal information is shared or released in a controlled manner. When information is released the individual should feel secure in the knowledge that the released information is complete and accurate, and is being released to the appropriate source for the correct reasons. Security refers to measures that organizations implement to protect information and systems, including efforts to ensure the integrity and availability of that information and the information system used to access it. With the ability to transmit information rapidly over the Internet and to large numbers of people, each institution should have policies and procedures in place to protect identifiable data and information, and to prevent inappropriate or accidental access to health care information and data. Some of these policies may meet the requirements of accreditation bodies. Violation of privacy, breaching of confidentiality or a failure to provide adequate security measures for health information can impose severe consequences.

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