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How does patient-doctor confidentiality work?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2020 | Medical Licensing

The confidentiality agreement between a doctor and a patient is something that you must uphold at all costs. It is not something to take lightly. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians explains that you have strict responsibility to ensure the privacy of your patients and any actions that violate this open you to legal and professional penalties. 

Patient rights

Understanding patient confidentiality requires knowing patient rights when it comes to expected privacy. Your patients deserve to trust that you will keep their information and details private and not share them with others. The exception in sharing in the course of treating them or transferring treatment to another physician. However, even then, you need explicit permission from the patient to do so. This applies to minors as well, especially in cases where the law allows them privacy. 

Your patients also have the right to access their own medical records and information. They can correct them and add information if they want. However, you can withhold information that could harm your patient’s well-being. 

You also have the responsibility to provide your patients with a secure system that will keep their information safe and out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. 

Legal aspects

Patient privacy has always been at the heart of confidentiality. In addition, it also protects constitutional rights. However, it is now even more important that you ensure the privacy of information between you and your patients due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPPA has strict standards relating to keeping patient information out of the wrong hands. You could face serious consequences if you do not follow HIPPA guidelines and rules.