Patient privacy is a topic that has received a lot of concern particularly concerning storage of patients’ information in electronic form. This is because the information may be exposed to various people, who would not have accessed it when stored in hard copies. Since the health care sector has to keep track with technological advancement, it is required to increase its efficiency and also save time by embracing use of electronic data storage. This has led to great concentration on the maintenance of patient’s privacy by all entities that are associated with this particular data.
The government has allocated funds contained in stimulus package to health sector in order to increase its efficiency. PATIENT PRIVACY IN HEALTH CARE Introduction Stimulus package that is set aside to cater for the economic crisis currently being experienced in America, has allocated a portion of its funds to health care sector. The reserved money is expected to implement maintenance of health records in electronic form. This is an improvement in health care sector since a lot of time wastage in paper work will be eliminated; electronic storage of data is faster and efficient.
This progress has received different interpretations from both health providers and Americans, with the main subject of discussion being the actual meaning of patient privacy. Further, the kind information requiring special protection is not clearly understood and Americans are seeking confirmation on the area before full implementation of this technological advancement within health care sector. (Carter, 2008) Description of patient privacy The description of patient privacy is provided by the law that is specifically designed to control disclosure of electronic health data.
According to this law, patient privacy implies that a patient is protected against exposure of health information that is personal to other parties through marketing. This means that once a patient provides information to health providers, nobody should be allowed to access and market it to parties unknown to the patient. Patient privacy also means that a patient will have the right to receive notification concerning security breaches, capable of exposing his/her personal information, in order for action to be taken.
In case a patient receives a notification that his/her personal information has been disclosed without his/her consent, the law will necessitate efficient reinforcement of rules regarding health privacy. Advocates for patient privacy air their concern regarding privacy provisions outlined in the available legislation. They argue that the provisions are not efficient enough to provide appropriate protection of patient data from other parties which include: insurance companies, US government, hospital workers and potential employers.
This has made concerned health providers to request for consent from patients prior to sharing of personal information. The updated legislation requires individuals to request doctors to keep patients’ information confidential, though this only applies to particular patients who are in a position to fully pay for their health care. When these provisions are adhered to, patients will be in a position to enjoy privacy of their data. On the other hand, patient privacy will burden health providers with extra work of keeping watch on the patients’ information, to enable them inform patients in case of interference. (Rodrigues, 2001)