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Confidentiality and Medical Records.
NIOSH 1987 Jul:40-44
Issues related to confidentiality of medical records were discussed. Confidentiality has been regarded in the United States as a traditional social and political right. Two issues of major concern regarding the confidentiality of health records are who has access to the records and how secure is the information they contain. Confidentiality and the attendant trust that comes with a confidential relationship are regarded as an essential component of the relationship between the health care provider and the employee. If an employee does not feel that he can disclose intimate information, he may withhold information that is necessary for accurate diagnosis and successful treatment. Confidentiality in the workplace is regarded as being very important as an employee's job security may be vulnerable to decisions based on information regarding his health. Since most Americans today pay for their health care through health insurance, insurance companies are interested in health records. Computerization, because it has increased the number of persons having access to health records, can be a weak link in protecting the confidentiality of health data. It is noted that health data collected in the workplace is being used to an increasing extent in epidemiological studies. Use of such data should be subject to strict rules and regulations in order to protect the privacy of the workers. One of the roles of the occupational health nurse is to act on behalf of the employer and employee. Within the framework of the health professional's code of ethics, the occupational health nurse may render an opinion regarding the fitness of an employee to work without violating the confidentiality of the employee's health records.
Occupational-health-nursing; Health-protection; Health-care-personnel; Employees; Employee-health; Medical-services; Biostatistics;
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division