HS 101 Discussion The Privacy Rule and Medical Law Confidentiality

HS 101 Discussion The Privacy Rule and Medical Law Confidentiality

HS 101 Discussion The Privacy Rule and Medical Law Confidentiality

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Spiritual care is an essential part of the healing process for every human being physically, mentally, and emotionally. During my patient rounds, I might encounter patients with different worldviews or religions. It is somehow of a challenge for me when I have a patient with a different worldview than mine due to my lack of knowledge about other religions. However, the best way to approach those situations is to acknowledge other people’s beliefs, be active listener, provide support and facilitate communication with pastoral care. As a healthcare professional, it is important to learn about different religions to understand their beliefs and traditions, but it is most important to empathize and provide care with love and respect for every human being because humans are creatures of God (Hoehner, 2020).

I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.


Explain the Privacy Rule. Using the internet, find a case in which the Privacy Rule was violated or a patient’s right to privacy was violated in a healthcare setting. Summarize the case, explain how the Privacy Rule was violated and provide examples of how this case could have been prevented.

Medical privacy or health privacy is the practice of maintaining the security and confidentiality of patient records. It involves both the conversational discretion of health care providers and the security of medical records. The terms can also refer to the physical privacy of patients from other patients and providers while in a medical facility, and to modesty in medical settings. Modern concerns include the degree of disclosure to insurance companies, employers, and other third parties. The advent of electronic medical records (EMR) and patient care management systems (PCMS) have raised new concerns about privacy, balanced with efforts to reduce duplication of services and medical errors.[1][2]

Many countries – including Australia,[3] Canada, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and the Netherlands – have enacted laws that try to protect people’s privacy. However, many of these laws have proven to be less effective in practice than in theory.[4] The United States passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996 in an attempt to increase privacy precautions within medical institutions.HS 101 Discussion The Privacy Rule and Medical Law Confidentiality

History of medical privacy
Prior to the technological boom, medical institutions relied on the paper medium to file individual’s medical data. Nowadays, more and more information is stored within electronic databases.[6] Research shows[4] that it is safer to have information stored within a paper medium as it is harder to physically steal data, whilst digital records are vulnerable to access by hackers.[6]

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In order to reform the healthcare privacy issues in the early 1990s, researchers looked into the use of credit cards and smart cards to allow access to their medical information without fear of stolen information. The “smart” card allowed the storage and processing of information to be stored in a singular microchip, yet people were fearful of having so much information stored in a single spot that could easily be accessed.[6] This “smart” card included an individual’s social security number as an important piece of identification that can lead to identity theft if databases are breached.[6] Additionally, there was the fear that people would target these medical cards because they have information that can be of value to many different third parties including employers, pharmaceutical companies, drug marketers, and insurance reviewers.[6]

In response to the lack of medical privacy, there was a movement to create better medical privacy protection, but nothing has been officially passed. The Medical Information Bureau was thus created to prevent insurance fraud, yet it has since become a significant source of medical information for over 750 life insurance companies; thus, it is very dangerous as it is a target of privacy breachers.[6] Although the electronic filing system of medical information has increased efficiency and administration costs have been reduced, there are negative aspects to consider. The electronic filing system allows for individual’s information to be more susceptible to outsiders; even though their information is stored on a singular card. Therefore, the medical card serves as a false sense of security as it does not protect their information completely.

Patient care management systems (PCMS)
With the technological boom, there has been an expansion of the record filing system and many hospitals have therefore adopted new PCMS.[1] PCMS are large medical records that hold many individuals’ personal data. These have become critical to the efficiency of storing medical information because of high volumes of paperwork, the ability to quickly share information between medical institutions, and the increased mandatory reporting to the government.[1] PCMS have ultimately increased the productivity of data record utilization and have created a large dependence on technology within the medical field.

It has also led to social and ethical issues because of the basic human rights that can be a casualty for this expansion of knowledge. Hospitals and health information services are now more likely to share information with third party companies.[1] Thus, there needs to be a reform to specify the rules of the hospital personnel who have the access to medical records. This has led to the discussion of privacy rights and created safeguards that will help data keepers understand situations where it is ethical to share an individual’s medical information, provide ways for individuals to gain access to their own records, and determine who has ownership of those records.[1] Additionally, it is used to ensure that a person’s identity is kept confidential in research or statistical purposes and understand the process to make individual’s aware that their health information is being used.[1] Thus, a balance between privacy and confidentiality must occur in order to limit the amount of information disclosed and keep the occupations of physicians in check by constricting the information flow


Spirituality is the way to find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in life. Many people find spirituality through religion. Some people find it through music, art, or a connection with nature. Others find it in their values and principles. Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.

Healthy spirituality gives a sense of peace, wholeness, and balance among the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of our lives. However, for most people, the path to such spirituality passes through struggles and suffering and often includes experiences that are frightening and painful. Positive beliefs, comfort, and strength gained from religion, meditation, and prayer can contribute to well-being. It may even promote healing. Improving your spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it may help you feel better.

Patients who are spiritual may utilize their beliefs in coping with illness, pain, and life stresses. Some studies indicate that those who are spiritual tend to have a more positive outlook and a better quality of life (Bogue, 2020).

Similar to other caring activities and procedures, spiritual care improves people’s spiritual well-being and performance as well as the quality of their spiritual life. Spiritual care has positive effects on individuals’ stress responses, and spiritual well-being such as the balance between physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of self, a sense of integrity and excellence, and interpersonal relationships. Spiritual well-being is important for an individual’s health potential and the experience of illness/hospitalization can threaten the optimum achievement of this potential. Professional nursing embraces spiritual care as a dimension of practice.

Nurses’ practice patterns in the area of spiritual care can be grouped into two categories including religious and nonreligious interventions. Religious interventions include treating patients’ religious beliefs without prejudice, providing them with opportunities for connecting with God and expressing their values and beliefs, helping them practice their religion, and referring them to clerical and religious leaders (O’Brien, et al., 2019). Nonreligious interventions include nurses’ presence for patients and their families, making direct eye contact when communicating with patients, sympathizing with patients and their families, listening to patients and their families attentively, and having love and enthusiasm for patients.

Although spiritual care is meant to help people, I frequently gain as a nurse. Interpersonal trust and a connection with the patient require high emotional intelligence. It’s important to realize that spirituality isn’t always theological care (Ross et al., 2018). Whereas the healthcare industry easily incorporates spirituality into therapy, spiritual care is essential in all sectors of operation. For the sake of our clients, we as caregivers must respect spiritual support, learn the required skills, and schedule time to satisfy these needs.


Bogue, D. W., & Hogan, M. (2020). Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in Health Care. Retrieved from 

O’Brien, M., Kinloch, K., Groves, K., & Jack, B. (2019, August 9). Meeting patients’ spiritual needs during end of life care: A qualitative study of nurses’ and healthcare professionals’ perceptions of spiritual care training. Edge Hill University. Retrieved from 

Ross , L., McSherry, W., Giske, T., Van Leeuwen, R., Schep-Akkerman, A., Koslander, T., Hall, J., Ostergaard Steenfeldt , V., & Jarvis, P. (2018, August). Nursing and midwifery students’ perceptions of spirituality, spiritual care, and spiritual care competency: A prospective, Longitudinal, correlational European study. Nurse education today. Retrieved from