The Importance Of Privacy In Health Care

989 Words 4 Pages
The safety and privacy of a health care worker should be very important to institution they provide care in. The possibility of being stalked, threatened or assaulted by a patient is a concern for many health care providers in the mental health sector, but can be an occupational risk for all. An excerpt from Patient Violence Against Health Care Professionals, Safety assessment and Management, from the Psychiatric Times (2011), does a very good job of discussing the issues health care providers have with how easy information can be obtained. The patient who wants to stalk and harm the clinician no longer needs to leave home.
He or she can do it via the Internet. Cyber Snooping is facilitated by Web sites such as search engines, online forums,
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Since 2007, the smartphone has become commonplace in our culture. More and More people have smartphones, and these phones are always with them. The phones are becoming more and more advanced, with high definition cameras, wifi capabilities, and apps to connect the user to the social networking world. Not only to people have constant access to all sorts of information on the internet in their pocket, they also have a camera. Many people use their phone for making lists of medicines, tracking menses, notes to remind themselves of doctors orders and taking pictures. There are numerous examples in the Media of patients rights being violated. A Grand Rapids physician with Spectrum Health was fired and Nursing staff member was reprimanded for posting a picture of a patient 's backside in front of the emergency room entrance (Thoms, 2014). The patient was not yet an admitted patient, yet this was a violation of the patients privacy rights (Thoms, 2014). A Virginia man was awarded $500,000 by a Fairfax County jury after an anesthesiologist repeatedly mocked and insulted him during an operation (Cavuto, 2015). The patient’s intentions were to record the post-op instructions from his doctor, however he recorded the entire operating room procedure(Cavuto, 2015). The state of Virginia has a one party recording law, where only one person needs to be aware of the recording, but other states have two party, …show more content…
There is no case law that I was able to find that deals with what rights the health care worker has in situations where a patient or patients family member is taking their picture. It is commonplace for people to want to share their daily lives on social networking site likes facebook, this includes visits to the emergency room. It is also not unusual for a patient’s family member to snap a picture of a health care provider caring for a patient. The issue with this; is that the health care provider is not aware that they are being photographed, the patient may be in a vulnerable position or sensitive patient information may be visible in the background of a photo. Not only is this action violating the patient’s right, but it could also be violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, along with compromising the privacy of the health care worker. A health care institution is not aware of what a visitor to their facility may take a picture of. A visitor may take a picture of another patient in the waiting room. According to recording laws it is a felony to observe. photograph, or record a person where one may reasonably expect to be safe from surveillance (Aschwanden, 2015). To me this means the waiting room, and procedure rooms, whether this is the exam room or ultrasound room, one should expect a level of

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