1. Advise the receptionist you would like to meet to discuss a privacy breach in practice. You should suggest that she bring a support person to the meeting. Do you have a confidentiality clause in the visitors` book? We continue to train our employees in confidentiality; we ask everyone to sign confidentiality agreements and verify that they understand what the agreement means, but a simple question from a patient to a staff member is relatively simple to answer incorrectly, which can result in a violation of patient confidentiality. Protecting patient privacy and confidentiality with respect to medical records and health information is essential and, as a practice manager, you must ensure that the practice complies with the legislation governing data protection requirements. If you work in a surgery or a hospital, you can see and hear all kinds of situations that occur daily. Patients come in all shapes and sizes, and everyone has a different story to tell – but as you are sure their „story“ will be kept within the walls of surgery/hospital. Figures show that in the past 12 months (October 2011 figures), doctors, nurses and administrators have violated patient confidentiality approximately 802 times, probably a small portion of what is injured. There were also 91 incidents in which NHS employees admitted to snooping on their own colleagues` medical records. I had the unfortunate task of talking to her and undergoing the proper procedures when she fired an employee because she was looking at her neighbors` medical records (to what she admitted), and then she commented on her results to another employee.
Unfortunately, it was not the first time she had seen her doing so. Staff were concerned about the time she was taking to scan documents in Sichier — later, it turned out that she read most of the letters to get information about people she knew in the area, and then discussed them with other reception officers. This receptionist had no excuse because she had undergon several training courses, one of which focused specifically on patient confidentiality, where she was clearly told that situations such as this would constitute a breach of confidentiality. Unfortunately, she did not feel that she had done anything wrong, and in the end it was a court case on which she did not win. With respect to the court, we provided documentation that she signed a patient confidentiality statement, as well as evidence that she had received appropriate training in the area of derquier confidentiality. There was no way she could say that she „didn`t know.“ It wasn`t nice for me to deal as a manager, and for the receptionist who lost her job (although she was wrong). The incident also caused great concern among their teammates, who had observed them and, of course, had to make official written statements. It caused a lot of practice and extra work for the doctor and me. But most importantly, in our practice, a patient had discussed the information about him within the staff – which is just not good enough. This problem goes beyond administrators alone. In the past, I have heard doctors and other health professionals discuss patients in a different way than they should have been.
Most of the time, I don`t think they realized they violated patient confidentiality. But how can you ensure that your staff doesn`t discuss patient data at work, at home or maybe they share information on social networking sites? It`s that you don`t! However, you can ensure that your employees are fully trained in patient confidentiality, that they understand what patient confidentiality really is, and that they understand the