Confidentiality is a set of rules that dictates the protection of health information shared by a patient with a physician. In general, this information should only be used to dictate medical decision-making steps and can only be disclosed to a 3rd party with the patient’s express consent. While there are some specific situations where patient-doctor confidentiality may be broken (e.g., when the patient is at risk for self-harm Self-harm Psychiatric Assessment), these situations are considered exceptions and clinicians ought to make sure that confidentiality is not unnecessarily jeopardized.
Last updated: 15 Jun, 2021
There are situations when confidentiality may be breached. While there is no legal obligation to inform patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship of the limits of confidentiality, some argue that there is an ethical duty to do so.
Discussion of PHI for clinical purposes is covered under HIPAA, including:
The clinician Clinician A physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or another health professional who is directly involved in patient care and has a professional relationship with patients. Clinician–Patient Relationship must use the information to act according to the patient’s best interests if a situation arises where the patient is unable to provide consent of disclosure:
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