Patient Confidentiality

  1. I am just wondering if anyone can give me some guidance or tips in reference to confidentiality and how to reference this in a discussion I need to give about this topic. I am looking for items as to where it is appropriate to discuss patient information and where not appropriate, that kind of thing. The basic ethical premise, in my understanding, is to not discuss patient information anywhere but with approciate care providers. How much do you tell the family? When is it appropriate to discuss with patient and when with family? I would be most appreciative of any and all comments. =^..^=
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    About dcray

    Joined: Jun '00; Posts: 2
    Clinical Application Specialist


  3. by   JillR
    I try to play it safe and refer the family to the patients themselves. If this is not appropriate, I ask the family member what they already know and then say that the patient is doing about the same, a little better, ect. I try not to give too much information to anyone unless the patient tells me I can and then I document this. We have some of the flow sheets at the end of the bed and I frequently walk in on patients who are reading these. I really would like to get away from bedside flow sheets, but we are computerized at this time, anyone have any suggestions?
  4. by   NurseRachet
    There is a magnitude of info regarding Pt. Privacy/confidentiality issues. We have very explicit policies that cover this at our hospital. In our critical care units (ICU and CCU), there is a designated family member that information is given to. All other family members must contact that person to learn about the patients condition, unless designated otherwise by the patient (if feasible). Vistors calling are given the "the patient remains critical or critical but stable" type of comments. No info regarding what happened to them, type of surgery, etc. is given out. This really cuts down on the phone calls to the units. The patients are asked when they are admitted if info can be given out, even to the newspaper. They often sign a permission form for release of information. In our Computer Dept. all employees sign a confidentiality form to protect the patient. That dept does random checks to see who is looking into the patients chart. So far, I believe there have been only a couple employees terminated for breach of confidentiality. Our CEO and all Vice Presidents emphasize patient privacy STRONGLY. Good luck with your search for information.

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited June 05, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited June 05, 2000).]
  5. by   tweetieRN
    I feel differently about this than a lot of people. I don't feel that just because a person is a hospital employee that they have a need to know anything, unless they're directly involved in that patients care. I guard my charts from curiosity seekers, but have had trouble from time to time with a particular house supervisor. I agree that she needs to know some basics - such as diagnosis, care required, and special problems. But I don't feel that she has any business poring over the charts - not all agree with me.