Ethical and legal behavior that maintains client’s right. Part #1

Ethical and legal behavior that maintains client’s right.
        Characteristics of professional behavior (examples such as):
  1.  Caring
    1. Competent
    2. Conscientious (including personal hygiene)
    3. Courteous
    4. Dependable/Timely
    5. Honest
    6. Team player.

        Summary: Ensure each client’s basic needs are met. Provide a safe, caring, and comfortable environment. Learn appropriate communication skills to build positive relationships and to overcome physical and emotional barriers. Keep a positive attitude, and ask for help in difficult situations or when you feel overwhelmed.

The Client’s Bill of Rights in the home care settings.
Principles and rationale of Client’s Rights (Right to…)
  1. Free choice
  2. Freedom from abuse and restraints: freedom from any physical or chemical restraint, unless agreed to by client, ordered by the doctor, and necessary to protect a client.
  3. Privacy

        Methods to maintain privacy (i.e. not talking about client in public areas such as the dining room, elevators….

        Maintaining privacy while performing client care).

  1. Confidentiality of personal and clinical records (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – HIPAA standards);
  2. Accommodation of needs;
    1. Physical (independency in care, or self-care).
    2. Psychosocial.
  1. Organize and participate in family & resident groups;
  2. Participate in social, religious and community activities;
  3. Examine survey results and correction plans;
  4. Manage personal funds;
  5. Information about eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid benefits;
  6. File complaints about abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property;
  7. Information about advocacy groups;
  8. Immediate & unlimited access to family or relatives;
  9. Use personal possessions;
  10. Notification of change in condition.

        It is important to recognize and accept others beliefs and lifestyles, even if they clash with your own. Every person has the right to quality of life, regardless of age, gender, physical or mental ability, race, culture, religion, beliefs, or lifestyle.

Vocabulary words/terms related to ethical/legal behavior and client rights.

        Personal Care Worker have a legal obligation to uphold clients’ rights and protect them from physical and mental harm. Each client entitled to quality of life that enhances the person’s dignity and self-esteem. Quality care respects individual beliefs and focuses on individuality, strengths, needs, and preferences.

1. Privacy:
  • Personal.
  • Visits
  • Telephone conversation.
  • Information about care.
What is Privacy and Confidentiality?
  • o   Basic rights of every person
  • o   Privacy is the right of an individual to keep personal information from being disclosed
  • o   Confidentiality is how we as health care providers/employees treat private information once we and others receive it

        Why are privacy and confidentiality important? No matter where one works in healthcare- the hospital, labs, radiology centers, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, business units IT, or in the patient’s home- it is important to understand what privacy and confidentiality mean.

        Patients, residents, clients have the right to control who will see their protected, identifiable health information. Communications with or about patients involving patient health information will be private and limited to those who need the information for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. Such communications may involve verbal discussions, written communications, or electronic communications. Only those people with an authorized need to know will have access to the protected information.

        Hospitals and healthcare organizations have always upheld strict privacy and confidentiality policies. Unless you are new to healthcare, this idea will be familiar to you. However, the U.S. government strengthened the laws protecting privacy and confidentiality in response to situations in which private medical information has ended up in the wrong hands.

        There have been cases in which employers have fired good employees after learning of illness that could lead to lost work time and increased insurance costs, people’s medical information has ended up in the newspaper, and medical information has been used to damage other’s reputations.

        With the enactment of HIPAA the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, patients have the right to keep their medical information kept private and secure. It no longer is an ethical issue- it is the law.

So what is HIPAA?

        HIPAA is a broad law that deals with quite a variety of issues. Part of the focus of the law is to make it easier to move from one health insurance carrier to another. Because of this they must have their medical information and other information moved as well.

        HIPAA provided for healthcare organizations to standardize the way they communicate with one another to make it easier to share information. This is especially important to transmit information electronically.

        With the ease of records transfer it is also easy to sort out patients who have expensive illnesses or potentially use that information to hurt their chances at getting jobs or insurance.

        As a result HIPAA focuses on patient privacy and confidentiality. Under this law it is illegal to release health information to inappropriate parties or to fail to adequately protect health information from release.

        What information do we keep confidential? Confidential information includes patient identity, address, age, Social Security number, and any other personal information that patients are asked to provide.

        Confidential information also includes the reason a person is sick or in the hospital, the treatments, medications that he or she may receive, and other observations about his or her condition or past health conditions.

Penalties associated with violation of HIPAA.

        Civil penalties are fines up to $100 for each violation of the law per person, up to a limit of $25,000. For example, if 100 patient records were released illegally, a healthcare institution could be fined $10,000.

        Criminal penalties for wrongful disclosure can also result in jail time. The criminal penalties increase as the severity of the offense increases. Intentionally selling patient information is significantly more serious than accidental disclosure. These fines can be as high as $250,000 or a prison sentence of 10 years.

         How do we protect our patient’s/client’s privacy? We are committed to protecting their privacy and confidentiality in the following ways:

  • Patient/client care or discussion about patient/client care is kept private by closing doors or conducting them in an area where the discussion will not be overheard.
  • Patient medical records are not left where others can see them or gain access to them.
  • Computerized patient records are closed when the caregiver is away from the computer.
  • Written patient information is kept covered from the public.
  • Diagnostic tests results are kept private.
  • Paper records no longer needed are shredded or placed in closed receptacles for disposal. They are not left in the garbage.
  • Information is not disclosed to visitors about a patient/client.
  • Physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Emotional abuse. (Threats, humiliation).
  • Involuntary seclusion.
  • Financial abuse.
2. Abuse:
  • Physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Emotional abuse. (Threats, humiliation).
  • Involuntary seclusion.
  • Financial abuse.