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The ethical opinion on computer confidentiality is covered by the American Medical Association (AMA) principle of Patient Privacy and Confidentiality. Protecting the patient’s right to privacy is of utmost concern to the AMA Ethical Force Oversight Body. In line with the objectives of the AMA it aims to protect patient information from rapid evolution of health that of concerning about informatics and to monitor silent breaches of confidentiality.
The paragraph above only implies the fact that AMA is an association concerned of protecting the patient’s privacy and confidentiality. In this regard, there will be less worry for the patients to think of how they would protect their medical result’s confidentiality because of the help of this particular Medical Association.
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Confidentiality is the right of an individual to have personal, identifiable medical information kept private. Such information should be available only to the physician of record and other health care and insurance personnel as necessary.
Health care providers use the data for research, to collect reimbursement, coordinate diagnosis and treatment, conduct quality assurance and monitor other providers. Clinical data repositories and management systems will likely reduce health care costs and improve patient care. (Writer’s source)
The paragraph above represents a fact that health care providers indeed are the ones entrusted to keep confidential data of the patient. This only means that the health care providers are the people expected to take charge of important medical information concerning the patients’ welfare.
Medical information about a patient’s condition is a very sensitive issue that doctors should take into consideration. If there a case of possible corrections with Medical information, it is ethical to make visible the date and time of the made corrections. In this way, the medical data can be considered credible as well as the patient’s concern can be given attention regarding the viability of the made corrections. Indeed, it is quite ethical if corrections concerning medical issues will always date and time stamped.
Privacy is not absolute, and must be balanced with the efficient provision of medical care and the availability of resources. (Writer’s source) In this regard, the patient has the right to know that there is an existing computerized database that contain medical information about his her health. This is a very ethical way of being open to the patient’s need to know his or her health condition as far as he or she and his or her physician is concerned.
The patient has to know as soon as possible any inaccurate information about his condition most especially if it his life is at risk. According to the AMA principles, (Writer’s source) Physicians should inform patients of the limits of confidentiality protections and allow the patients to decide whether treatment outweighs the risk of the disclosure of sensitive information. A patient expects to have his or her privacy respected by the physician and should not be disappointed. If a record must be released, the patient should sign an appropriate release authorizing the disclosure of information in the medical record. However, general releases will not suffice for records containing HIV or other sensitive material.
Physicians have always had a duty to keep their patients’ confidences. In essence, the physician’s duty to maintain confidentiality means that a physician may not disclose any medical information revealed by a patient or discovered by a physician in connection with the treatment of a patient. In this regard, the patient’s consent would be the greatest consideration of the physician to signal ones action to have computerized medical database be online to the computer terminal. According to (Writer’s source) once the patient has given consent to release the record, the disclosure requirement may be mandatory for the holder of the medical record or merely permissive.
It has been viewed that the main concern is the welfare of the patient and to maintain trust and professionalism in the line of keeping medical data well. If ever there have been erased records by the computer service bureau it is more ethical to let the physician know the concern in this matter so that if ever the patient would confront the physician regarding important data that have been damaged, the physician can be prepared to back up the files with the first hand information and to access computer database that are stored in softcopies for the welfare of the patient. However, when patient’s identifiable data is to be destroyed, it must be disposed of in a way that protects the confidentiality of the information. Employees must shred the data or in other ways disassociate the patient’s name and medical record number from the data. (Writer’s source)
The identification of the individuals and organizations with access to the databases of a patient should be made clear between the physician and the patient. If the patient decided to know who these people are, then the physician don’t have any right to withhold the interest of ones patient of knowing these people. Moreover, according to (Writer’s source) confidential information also is disseminated through clinical repositories and shared databases. Sharing this information allows patients to be treated more efficiently and safely. The challenge for physicians is to utilize this technology, while honoring and respecting patient confidentiality.
AMA ethics opinion imply the safety of the patients welfare with regards especially to medical data that should be confidentially taken cared of by respective physicians with the sole consent of their patients. It was also mentioned that Physicians should have their contracts with system vendors, consultants, and all health care providers participating in a data repository reviewed by an attorney. They should also have comparable confidentiality and security policies; implement security controls over sensitive patient information (e.g., HIV status, pregnancy termination, and history of mental health problems or drug and alcohol abuse); maintain good system security; and train staff and secure agreements concerning confidentiality and security. It is also advisable to have security experts periodically assess the security of the clinical data repository and require that users who access the information sign appropriate user agreements.
Disclosure of public health data could be made only for purposes consistent with the original collection. Thus, data could be disclosed only where clearly necessary to avert a significant health risk, for the direct therapeutic benefit of the subject, or for surveillance. (Writer’s source). A patient’s consent to disclosure of confidential information contained in a medical record may also be implied from the circumstances. For example, medical personnel directly involved in a patient’s care or treatment generally have access to the medical record. Even if the patient has not expressly authorized disclosure of his or her medical record, such consent is implied from the patient’s acceptance of treatment or hospitalization. Consent is also implied when a patient is transferred from one health care practitioner or facility to another. In such circumstances, disclosure of confidential patient information may be necessary to ensure continuation of patient care or treatment. State and federal statutes may also authorize or require disclosure of medical records to health care professionals or providers involved in the patient’s treatment or upon transfer of the patient from one facility to another.