The health information management professionals have the responsibility to ensure that data concerning the patient is recorded and protected. However, the primary challenge remains to maintain the privacy of the patients concerning their information about health.
Additionally, various issues cause a dilemma in the profession while they may hinder the performance per the ethical principles based on the AHIMA code. For instance, a patient may open up that during her inquiry of billing status at the system, they gave her the wrong information which she thinks is not hers. The name was her’s, but the dates put, and description was not hers. The mixup poses the issue of mishandling of data entry that may be sensitive.
The challenge posed here is that the clerks will disseminate patient information to the wrong person to due to the mixing of data. Ensure that the patients know that her report will be safe and confidential. Since billing information and that of the health condign are sensitive, emphasize to her your commitment to be preserve privacy. Ultimately the data mixing issue must be addressed to ensure it reaches the right person.
On the other hand, a patient asks you to tell her friends on her behalf her condition. However, disclosing to them might put the privacy at risk which might also bring up professional questions. It’s clear that the patient has authorized the disclosure but how safe is the information. In this case, it’s essential that you encourage her to disclose the news herself. Also, explain that as a professional you are committed to keeping her privacy.
There may emerge circumstances where authorities demand information to further their investigation about the crime that involves the patient or staff member. For instance, fraudulent dealings by those handling information system. The challenge here is the crucial information is at risk while you must comply with lawful authorities. Therefore, provide information that may be helpful while protecting sensitive data like diagnosis or the ailment or private patient- medical officer discussion. Information like dates may not be as confidential but sensitive information must be protected.
In conclusion, as a professional, service and privacy of patients must always be upheld. However, there must be clear issues to be considered in the profession as you seek to ensure that you uphold AHIMA ethics. Some of the questions one should think of are;
What is your role in providing non-furtherance of unethical behavior by a colleague?
What are the limits to disclosure of patient information even with their authorization?
How do you ensure that self-interest does not interfere with the duty to offer service especially interest in particular brands like herbal products and attempts to promote such brands.
McBride, S., Tietze, M., Robichaux, C., Stokes, L., & Weber, E. (2018). Identifying and Addressing Ethical Issues with Use of Electronic Health Records. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1).
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