Case Study – Assessing the Issue of Patient Privacy
Beth is a recent graduate of an allied health program at the local community college. While in school, she had taken a course from a professor who she really admired and liked. In her first job out of school as a registration clerk at the hospital’s clinic, she happened to be assigned the professor to register as an outpatient for radiation therapy for a recently diagnosed cancer treatment. The two chatted as Beth input the professor’s information into the hospital’s EHR system. They talked about the course and how much Beth liked the course and the professor as a teacher. Beth thought about the professor all day and felt terrible to learn the professor was being treated for cancer. She knew many of her classmates also liked the professor, so after work she decided to contact her friends about the professor and suggest they send the professor a card. Beth shared the professor’s home address.
Assess what Beth has done in terms of the privacy, confidentiality, and security of the professor’s health information. Why shouldn’t Beth share the information with her classmates?