Confidentiality is a touchy subject to many people around the world. The U.S has created organizations and laws to keep your medical information safe. Even with this though it’s still difficult to have confidentiality. Whenever there your thinking about a topic, think about who could possible have your information ready to use.
Confidentiality is not highly protected. There has been action such as HIPAA to protect your records. These laws have not been a total failure as it has controlled the limits to how much people can know about your records. Let’s say that you are in treatments for cancer or another disease, you would have the most protection. The doctors and the office will protect your information the most. Even caregivers (unless told other different by the patient) do not have access to your records. Why is this thought? It because (even though the caregivers sign an oath) they might tell someone what’s going on with there patient. There is another question though, why would someone want to tell everyone what’s going on with you. “The dilemma appears to be rooted first in the essential difference in primary purpose between social workers and managed care companies and second in the heavy reliance of managed care companies on burgeoning information system.” To make sure that the doctors do not share your information they sign a hippocratic oath. Even though they do this, there is no reason they might not break the oath. Or is there, well there is, doctors will be violated and may not be able to practice medicine anymore and will be fined. We can talk about that later.
With the technology in the world, you would think that this would make things easier. Technologies might make things easy but not safer. In the medical world it’s better to have safety over easies. Many drug companies will pay for surveys to see your habits so they know how to sell to you. Which this might be good for you but not doctor offices. Doctor offices do use technology to keep files and records, but they also get leaked a lot more than they use too. There has been 212 to 272 million leaked cases since 2005. This is also just recorded, there could have been more that slipped through the cracks! On the topic of technology, there is something called PHR that allows you to have a copy of your medical records. The other option instead of online medical records are printed copies of them, this is a good option to have as an adult. You might ask why this was mentioned. Well, if you are a victim of lost cases than you might still have them. This would be good because you could give them to the doctors of they lost your case. The reason most offices choose to go to technology is because its more cost efficient for the patients (which mean that patients will come back). Medical records online will tell you if your about to duplicate or run a test again. Which this is one of the few plus’ online medical records bring.
Back in the day doctors did not have to sign an oath, people were better back then, but that’s a whole other subject. Winston Churchills, the prime minister of britain from 1940–45 to 1951–55. Churchills physician, Lord Moran wrote about him after he had passed away. Moran believed that once the person is dead, there should be no confidentiality. He expressed by writing in his diary and then publishing it for everyone to read. Still to this day there are some companies that believe that once someone passes away that they can share information about them. Which this is illegal, but a family member can get the records if they wish to have them. Going back to the subject of famous cases, there are many with presidents in the United States. For example, once President Eisenhower and Wilson died, it was shared with the public that both of them had a disability, Wilson having major disability while Eisenhower having a minor one. On the topic of president, President Cleveland had a secret operation, information in his operation quickly spread and soon everyone knew. There are other cases where it wasn’t a president or even a famous person. There was a kid named Dylan that had been diagnosed with depression, he asked his pedaltrain to know tell him mom, legally the doctor isn’t allowed to tell his mom because dylan had asked him not too. This is because his mom was not in the room and in that room, nothing can be spread unless given permission by the patient. Dylan asked to not tell anyone, but the doctor really wanted him to let someone know. Eventually Dylan told the doctor that he could tell his grandma, so that is what he did. Once she knew she would drive him to his opponents and would get his medicine. This happens more often than people think!
Sense we have talked about this you might now be wondering, what happens when the doctors share this information. Well, there are a couple of different punishments that could happen to the doctor. The doctors can be fined anywhere from $100 to $100,000. When this isn’t seen as a harsh enough punishment then they can also get a violation. When this happens, the doctor could be out of the practice or just suspended. Another outcome can possibly be that they get sued. This would be seen as the most logical thinking one. This will occur if a doctor denies to see a patient and the patient then gets injured or possibly die! But yet with these outcomes some people do not believe that it is harsh enough. This could be someone that was the victim or a person that is a strong supporter of the HIPAA laws!
With all this going one there has to be some actions taking place, you would not be wrong! There are many families and organization that will try to push laws in to congress. Families will come out and say an experience that happened to them. They will sue the doctor or the office the doctor is at. Organizations will have campings that support the movement of confidentiality. Then there are organizations that have made laws for the US, take HIPAA for example, they made confidentiality huge and now protect offices to make sure that information won’t be leaked! Also many people has come out and talked about the topic! Some of their theses have changed the whole atmosphere of the medical world.
Even though confidentiality it hard to fully achieve, organizations and the US are trying their best! One day maybe we will fully achieve this goal of ours to have complete and protected confidentiality. Laws are getting better and so is technology, we are at least running in the right direction! It won’t be long, or at least we hope!