privacy and confidentiality in healthcare

Have you ever wondered why medical confidentiality is so important? Radiological & Imaging Association v. Union of India on 26 August 2011, , the petitioner challenged the circular of the Collector and District Magistrate, Kohlapur which required that the Radiologist and Sonologist should submit the on-line form F under the, Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Rules (PNDT). Scenario: Dan is an auditor for a consulting firm. The patient’s confidentiality regarding his/her treatment is of vital importance and should be protected. As a nurse, you are obligated to take care of the patient and maintain his or her privacy, and you can't afford to ignore a breach. Patient confidentiality is one of the main elements to be considered when dealing in health care. In the blood sample report of the appellant, it was found out that the appellant is HIV positive. As in this case, the petitioner was undergoing the punishment imposed on him by the Honourable Supreme Court during which, he was admitted to the hospital and he underwent surgery as he had been experiencing heart problems, low sugar and blood pressure issues. After all the considerations of the fact, it was held that there is no violation of the doctor’s duty of confidentiality or the patient’s right to privacy. https://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Pa-St/Patient-Confidentiality.html, https://cis-india.org/internet-governance/blog/privacy-in-healthcare-policy-guide, http://samch.doh.gov.ph/index.php/patients-and-visitors-corner/patients-rights, http://contacttracing.ashm.org.au/why-are-privacy-and-confidentiality-important, http://archive.nmji.in/archives/Volume-27/Issue-1/27-1-SFM-III.pdf, Weekly Competition – Week 4 – September 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 2 – October 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 3 – October 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 4 – October 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 1 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 2 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 3 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 4 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 1 – December 2019, https://t.me/joinchat/J_0YrBa4IBSHdpuTfQO_sA, laws governing confidentiality and privacy, Game of Drones: Evolution of Drone laws in India, Free trade agreements blueprint for future multilateral trade rules and negotiations, Strict laws and better implementation : need of the hour, Conflicting rights perspective – equality and positive discrimination, How to become a sought after junior resource in your team. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), your medical records and other health information you provide to healthcare professionals and facilities, and insurers is privileged information. So, the right to privacy and confidentiality is one of the rights given to the patient where the patient has the right to be free from public exposure. Though it is very rare to keep the medical records or information completely undisclosed as the very common breach of confidentiality occurs when the doctors pass the medical information to others and refer it as one of their case studies. The petitioner challenged this on the grounds that it violates the privacy of their patients. The more details you provide to your doctors, the more they’ll be able to figure out what’s going on and help you get better. A lack of trust. Please consider making a donation to keep this project's resources available at no cost to the public. And if during the course of the enquiry or proceeding, the registered medical practitioner is found guilty of committing professional misconduct, then he will be awarded with the punishment as it deems fit with the situation by the Medical Council or they may also direct the removal of his medical practice altogether or for only a specified period. As a result, the respondent’s were held not guilty and the Court also held that the duty to maintain secrecy in the doctor-patient relationship is not absolute and can be broken for the public good or interest. The Bombay High Court held that the images are stored in the silent observer and are not transmitted online to any server and thus, it remains fixed in the ultrasound machine and only after the request of the Collector/ the civil surgeon, in the presence of the concerned radiologist/ sonologist/ doctor in-charge of the Ultrasound Clinic, the silent observer will be opened. Have you ever considered a career in healthcare? ANA supports legislation, policies and standards that protect individually identifiable health information. This article is written by Kashish Kundlani, from Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies, Bangalore. He is traveling out of … Here, it was held that the medical records of a person who is sentenced or convicted or is in the police or judicial custody and during that period such person is admitted in the hospital or in any nursing home then, that information should be made available to the person asking for the information but that hospital or the nursing home should be maintained by the State or public authority or any other public body. 4084 5203, © Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved. It was further observed that the outline of the right to privacy must be restricted or limited by the public interest and should also move along with each and every provision of the PNDT rules. The privacy and confidentiality in healthcare should be the utmost priority which has to be maintained by the doctor. Patient confidentiality means that personal and medical information given to a health care provider will not be disclosed to others unless the individual has given specific permission for such release. (surgery, 2016). Privacy talks about a … Patient confidentiality isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law. Patient confidentiality is at the heart of the American Healthcare system. The confidentiality of a patient should be maintained because the communication of personal information or records may create personal or professional problems while the patients depend on doctors to keep their medical information private. The medical information of the patient given to a health care provider shall not be divulged to others unless the patient gives his consent to disclose such information to others. It is an extension of privacy. To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty. So in this situation, the Bombay High Court held that the Right to Information will supersede the Right to Privacy and Confidentiality. What do you have to do to get the maximum bonus and the fastest promotion? And also, the use of a silent observer system on a sonograph has necessary safeguards or protection and it does not violate any privacy rights as the declining sex ratio of the country was considered a compelling public interest that could override the right to privacy. The term ‘privacy’ and ‘confidentiality’ is important in the fiduciary relationship between a doctor and a patient. For example, if a person visits the doctor and the doctor places the result of the tests into an electronic health record, then that information will be completely protected by the DISHA Act as it will be placed within the healthcare system. If the mental or physical condition is in question and the Court orders the patient to surrender himself to a physical and mental examination by a physician or; When the public health and safety demands or; When the patient himself gives up his right in writing or; It can be disclosed to the parents or the legal guardian of the patient where the patient is not of legal age or mentally incapacitated; and if the patient is of legal age, then, the information can be disclosed with his right to choose the person to whom the medical information should be communicated. Ensuring Strict Adherence to Confidentiality Policy. Some diseases have stigmas attached to them that could make people think less of you. As in this case, the petitioner was undergoing the punishment imposed on him by the Honourable Supreme Court during which, he was admitted to the hospital and he underwent surgery as he had been experiencing heart problems, low sugar and blood pressure issues. And that’s really important for the effective treatment of whatever illness or injury you have. This article discusses confidentiality and privacy in healthcare. Absolute privacy and confidentiality is not possible under the healthcare sector because if the doctors start keeping all health records a secret or confidential, despite knowing the fact that if such information is not communicated to the public then it will result in the spread of a dangerous disease from his patient such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis etc. Patient confidentiality makes sure that their ignorance can’t harm you. But the Court, under Section 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code, held the appellant guilty on the grounds that he knew that he had a venereal disease but still decided to marry. CHEO, along with all other organizations participating in the ConnectingOntario program, must follow all applicable health privacy laws (including the Personal Health Information and Protection Act, 2004). your interest or building a custom career plan for you, you can schedule yourself When you follow a link to an external site, you are leaving HealthCare.gov and are subject to the external site’s privacy and security policies. Today, it is necessary to research implications of the introduction of confidentiality and privacy in health care environment. (DISHA) in 2018 which is yet to be finalised. CHEO shares Epic (our electronic health record) with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (SickKids). The bottom line is that a breach of patient confidentiality is a serious occurrence in any healthcare setting. Scholars and those involved in human research have legal and ethical obligations to protect the privacy of persons who agree to participate in clinical studies and other research projects. Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content. Chapter 8- (8.2) states about the consequences of the violation. Other than the ‘code of ethics’ there are no such specific laws in India which protect the privacy and confidentiality of the patient’s data but the Health Ministry has proposed a Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act  (DISHA) in 2018 which is yet to be finalised. All public health staff involved in case investigation and contact tracing activities with access to such information should sign a confidentiality statement acknowledging the legal requirements not to disclose COVID-19 information. If you’d like to be a part of a rewarding profession, check out a few of the career paths you might take with training from Charter College. Once you have framed perfect confidentiality … Patient confidentiality isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law. The privacy and security of patient health information is a top priority for patients and their families, health care providers and professionals, and the government. Thereafter, the appellant filed the plea in the Supreme Court and contended that, in the medical profession, the ‘duty of care’ is applicable and it also includes the ‘duty of confidentiality’ and in addition, it was also argued that since the duty was violated or breached, the respondent was liable to pay for the damages caused. LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. Did you know that patient confidentiality doesn’t just help you the individual? What updates do you want to see in this article? Right to Medical Records, Right to Privacy and Confidentiality etc. Protecting information gathered in association with the care of the patient is a core value in health care. It was further observed that the outline of the right to privacy must be restricted or limited by the public interest and should also move along with each and every provision of the PNDT rules. You probably wouldn’t ever trust that person again. of individuals with a rare environmental health risk in a small geographic area or identified health care of school setting, or b) when longitudinal investigations require that unique identifiers and contact information is linked to subject codes, and the primary participant shares the same address and surname as other family members. It explains that if any complaint is made with regards to the professional misconduct of any registered medical practitioner and the same was brought before the Medical Council of Disciplinary action, then, upon the receipt of the complaint, the appropriate medical council will hold an enquiry and will also give the opportunity to the registered medical practitioner to be heard in person or by a pleader. The appellant asserted that the respondent had illegally disclosed the appellant’s medical information without his consent and had also breached his duty which was to keep the medical information of the patient’s confidential. So, sometimes in the interest for the public good, the patient’s data has to be communicated. Hence, for this reason also, the respondent was held not guilty. For example, back in the 1980s, many people who had symptoms of HIV and AIDS were afraid of being found out. Patient privacy encompasses a number of aspects, including personal space (physical privacy), personal data (informational privacy), personal choices including cultural and religious affiliations (decisional privacy), and personal relationships with family members and other intimates (associational privacy).Code of Medical Ethics opinions: privacy 1. The integrity of the health system relies on the protection of privacy and confidentiality because: Patient autonomy requires that individuals be free to choose, except in certain limited circumstances (discussed below), who accesses information about their health; This article discusses confidentiality and privacy in healthcare. We link to other websites solely for your convenience and education. If it gets finalised, then it will give the people complete ownership of their health data. So the appellant’s marriage was called off because without the expressed consent of the appellant, the hospital authorities divulged the information to his family and somehow the information reached the girl’s family. Are you ready to change your future for the better? Here, it was held that the medical records of a person who is sentenced or convicted or is in the police or judicial custody and during that period such person is admitted in the hospital or in any nursing home then, that information should be made available to the person asking for the information but that hospital or the nursing home should be maintained by the State or public authority or any other public body. The appellant asserted that the respondent had illegally disclosed the appellant’s medical information without his consent and had also breached his duty which was to keep the medical information of the patient’s confidential. 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