It takes courage to visit a medical professional to seek help for a particular health problem. These are private situations, and a great deal of trust is placed in the doctor or physician when the patient comes forward. Healthcare professionals therefore have a duty to treat confidential information with the utmost care, and prevent it from getting into the hands of others.
This concept, called patient confidentiality, is strictly abided by medical office assistants. These professionals have the organizational skills to ensure that a private or public practice functions efficiently. Electronic and hard-copy versions of medical records are often needed for each individual patient, and it’s vital that these documents are kept away from prying eyes. Let’s take a closer look at what patient confidentiality is all about.
Patient Confidentiality Is a Core Duty of Medical Practice
Healthcare professionals are regularly informed about sensitive information from patients, and records are kept in order to provide ongoing care. Grads of medical office assistant courses know that confidentiality prohibits the healthcare provider from relaying such information about the patient to other people or organizations. This means that even a patient’s wife or husband cannot be told sensitive information about their loved one, without prior consent.
People may be embarrassed about a particular medical condition, and patient confidentiality serves an important function in increasing their willingness to seek help. A practice must strictly value the confidentiality of records like medical history, x-rays, and various types of lab reports. Otherwise, confidence among the local community in the service will be eroded.
Protecting Confidential Information After Medical Office Assistant Training
A well-organized and secure filing system is the backbone of medical offices, as professionals protect the confidentiality of hard-copy documents. Offices and waiting rooms are busy places, so office assistants are very conscious to avoid leaving confidential information in plain view of the public. It’s recommended that, where possible, first names are used when speaking to clients on the phone. Patient records shouldn’t be left open on the reception desk, and they should also be carried between rooms in a manner where the patient name isn’t visible. It’s easy to maintain best practices in patient confidentiality by picking up these habits early in an office administration career.
The efficiency of electronically storing medical information means it has become a popular alternative in recent decades. This new trend does however leave confidential information vulnerable to attack from around the globe, if it’s being stored on an online cloud. These are third-party service providers, so institutions must be very careful about their use.
The theft or loss of electric items, such as computers, smart phones, or hard drives is also a common cause of privacy breaches. Professionals who received training in a medical laboratory assistant program are cognizant of protecting sensitive information, and offices therefore invest in robust computer security software. When disposing of electrical equipment, it’s vital that confidential records are permanently deleted through the physical destruction of the storage system or the use of dedicated software.
Learn all the fundamental skills during medical office assistant training.
Find out more about the diploma programs available at NAHB.