Confidentiality in the Code of Ethics

This section of the code of ethics is related to the privacy section. The American Nurses Association states that, “the nurse has a duty to maintain confidentiality of all patient information,” (section 3.2, pg. 6). This section is impotant because it plays a huge role in the trust a patient has with their nurse. A breech of confidentiality can cause severe issues. It is breaking the HIPPA privacy rule. HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Part of HIPPA requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information.

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Personal Experience

I have been through clinicals in hospitals and other health care facilities where I have seen and experienced many breeches of confidentiality and of the HIPPA laws. Many times I have passed by a provider or nurse and over heard patient information. Many healthcare providers make the mistake of conversing about patients and their information in the hallways where people walk right past them. I don’t think this code in the code of ethics is applied as strictly as it should. I believe this code is applied very well when dealing with written and electronic information but is often not thought of when dealing with distributing information orally. Nurses should only distribute patient information orally to the members of the health care team that have a need to know.

Consequences to a Breech of Confidentiality or Breaking the HIPPA Laws

– fine payable to state

                         – prison time ranging from 1 – 10 yrs

    – termination from job

                   – confiscation of nursing license

Consequences vary depending on the severity and the number of occurences that it had happens.

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