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Information Security and privacy in Health centres


Outline

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Patient's rights as stipulated by HIPAA
  • Conclusion

Abstract

HIPAA is an acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability. It was initially formed to offer health insurance to employees who in one way or another may have decided to pursue other jobs or simply lost their jobs. It has evolved into an important tool as far as protection of health information is concerned.

Key words
  • HIPAA
  • Health insurance
  • Portability
  • Accountability
  • Health information

Introduction

Health insurance Portability and Accountability Act is an act that was agreed upon and signed by the former American President, Bill Clinton back in the year 1996 with the primary objective of securing medical information for patients. During this time, a rule was put in place requiring that all health related information be transmitted using standard electronic equipment only should there be need for electronic transmission. This particular rule was aimed at protecting the information system in the health sector and thereby maintaining privacy and confidentiality in the sector. With the help of its rules of privacy, this law has managed to secure and maintain the privacy of health records worldwide, whether electronic or otherwise.

The rights of patients as stipulated in HIPAA

Suvillan argued that the idea of computer systems being used to create, document and store health related information has always raised questions about the confidentiality, privacy and accessibility of such information by the patients. This was hence taken care of by HIPAA through incorporating certain rights to be enjoyed by the patients under this act. Firstly, the patients are given the right to be able to access, amend and to demand explanation should their health records be disclosed without their permission. Here patients are free to request for the information regarding their health records at any time. Krager claimed that it is the right of patients to have indiscriminate access to their personal records without any restrictions. The main reason why this right was granted to patients was to ensure that they are certified with the records and in the process are able to participate in their formation and protection.

It is also the patients' rights to demand confidentiality as far as their health are concerned. They can also pose restrictions regarding the disclosure of their medical information. American Bar Association explained that in the event of any unauthorized disclosure and or right violations, patients have the right to complain or report such unethical practices. This means that a patient can sue any medical officer should they feel that he or she has violated any of their rights as stipulated in HIPAA.

Conclusion

Under HIPAA, patients' confidentiality is given first priority in order to ensure that their medical information is not misused or disclosed in a manner that violates their rights as the rest of the citizens. The eventual meaning extracted from this law is that patients are always in one way or another engaged in the process of documentation, storage and use of their personal health information.

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