Patient Privacy Essay

923 WordsJul 29, 20144 Pages
Patient Confidentiality The purpose of this paper is to discuss these three factors, information technology, federal guidelines, and nursing practice, in relation to Patient Confidentiality. During the last century, ethical rules regarding medical patients have changed in order to protect the individual’s right to privacy. These ethical concerns have recently been broadened in order to include the surge in the use of information technology or computers to maintain patient information. Additionally, as the federal guidelines, related to medical practice and research, have evolved, so has the importance of the related ethics regarding patient confidentiality. A third factor related to the protection of patient records and information is with regard to current nursing practice. Technology has increased the productivity of various medical services. Patient records may be maintained on databases so that quick searches can be made of the kinds of medicine the individuals are taking and their allergies. Doctors may email information and questions regarding certain patients to nursing staff. Since nurses typically manage the charts and records of patients, they must take extra care in order to protect a patient’s confidentiality. So computer printouts and screens should be maintained in such a way that information is not revealed to non-medical staff that may be nearby. Although computers are useful tool in health care, nurses must make every effort to control the information so that it is not seen by individuals who do not have a right to the patient’s information. For example, nurses must also “log out” of patient profiles that they are utilizing while away from the desk. This prevents the wrong individual from reading the record while she or he is away from the desk momentarily. Given our modern research setting, with growing dependence on computers, the Internet,

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