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Fun Times

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Administrative Ethics Paper

Jon Williams


Linda Hagler-Reid

Administrative Ethics Paper

Houston is home to one of the largest medical centers in the world that strictly uses Electronic Medical Records. With a medical center of this size patient privacy and confidentiality is extremely import and a constantly evolving aspect of health care. Since 2010 The Texas Medical Center has had 5 major breaches of security resulting in the unauthorized access to over 50,000 patients. According to the American Medical Association's (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, "The purpose of a physician's ethical duty to maintain patient confidentiality is to allow the patient to feel free to make a full and frank disclosure of information to the physician with the knowledge that the physician will protect the confidential nature of the information disclosed (AMA, 2003)." But physicians cannot completely control access to electronic records. If patients fear their records will not be private, they might tell their doctors less, or even refuse to seek care. The Health Privacy Project study of the homeless revealed that homeless patients would not go for care if certain information were requested (AMA, 2003). There are several different types of threats to patient privacy. Some are more severe than others. You have individuals that accidentally disclose information through innocent mistakes, individuals who have record access privileges that abuse this authorization, you also have individuals who access this information solely out of spite or to use it for a financial gain. You also have unauthorized physical attacks on the security system as well as individuals who look to damage the operating systems and disrupt the operations of the company. There are two basic countering and protective measures in use today:…...

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