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Ethics... Exoploring Privacy and Confidentiality: Gray Areas
From a legal point of view, the correct answer would be C, the therapist should first warn the other client, because duty to warn the other individual is first.
Probably the second best answer would be D, the social worker should tell the police, because, as indicated earlier, you need to notify the individual who is to be harmed as well as notifying the police.
Obviously, B is wrong, to do nothing, because the Tarasoff Decision supersedes client confidentiality.
Answer A, to alert the supervisor, might be something that you might do on an informal basis.
The best course of action would be C.
Ethics - E-Care
Clinical data management (CDM) systems and increasing automation of the electronic medical record ("EMR") also present significant patient privacy and confidentiality issues, among others, which executives and planners must recognize. Understanding these issues ensures that CDM and EMR systems are effective without exposing its hosts and users to liability.
We trust that you'll keep our thoughts, our malfunctions -- our secrets -- safe and sound. In a recent Gallup poll, commissioned by the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation, 90 percent of consumers said they trust their doctor to keep their personal health information private and secure. That's a lot more trust than people put in hospitals (66 percent), insurers (42 percent), or managed care companies (35 percent).
Few of us, however, are ready to trust putting our health records online. Only 7 percent in the Gallup survey were "very willing" to store or transmit personal health information on the Internet. The overwhelming majority (84 percent) were "very" or "somewhat" concerned that the data could be made available to others without their consent.
Like it or not, however, we are picking up speed as we plunge into the age of electronic information. Consider the growth in online banking, shopping, investing, and vacation planning. It will happen in health care, as well; earlier this year, San Francisco geriatrician Forrest Martin predicted that all medical records would be online within five years.
The federal government is now putting the final touches on a set of rules for the secure electronic transmission of health information.
"E-care" is probably a few years down the road; secure messaging between doctors and patients is available now. You see the day, not far off, when regular monitoring of patients with high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and diabetes will occur remotely and electronically rather than through periodic office visits.
One cardiologist has built an immense database of files for each patient that he keeps on his computer in the office, at home, and now on his palmtop. If he's summoned to the hospital, he can first call up and print out that patient's complete record. And, wherever he goes with his handheld computer, he can instantly retrieve whatever information he needs -- meds, procedures, problems, previous visits, referrals, etc.
For more information on President Bush's stance on Patients' Privacy see the Introduction to the Course Manual for this Home Study Course
Online Continuing Education QUESTION
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