Healthcare is a complex sector because of the diversity of the task and professions working together towards a single goal. This goal is to enhance the quality of health care and enhance the positive outcomes of the patients.
PATIENT RIGHTS IN A MEDICAL FACILITY
This is only possible through a collaborative effort between the patient and healthcare professionals to exchange relevant information for delivering accurate and quality healthcare services. This alliance is built on the concept of patient rights that give health workers the right to make proper decisions for patients and ensure a safe environment.
Human rights have always been a top topic around the globe. Yet, we still see significant violations in the form of inequality and injustice around the world. Human rights are the fundamental values to conduct equality, fairness, and respect.
The same values and rules apply in healthcare, where the importance of human rights increases profoundly. Patient rights are the rules that healthcare organizations must adopt to provide equal access to healthcare.
Violation of these human rights can result in prosecution by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws. Government authorities now consider the violation of the patient’s rights as a criminal act.
Medical professionals must fulfil the patient’s rights under the conduct of the Code of Medical Ethics. With that said, let’s discuss how medical professionals can ensure patient rights in a medical facility.
Communication is a crucial aspect of patient rights that demands special attention. Medical professionals encourage the existing workforce to enhance their communication skills by pursuing professional education.
Nurses must establish practical communication skills because they are usually the first point of contact when patients are admitted to a hospital. Today, pursuing education is easier and more accessible because of online programs.
Aspiring nurses can register for an online nursing masters degree to acquire the skills needed to provide quality healthcare to patients and explore more responsibilities later in their careers.
As said earlier, healthcare is a complex setting with every workforce dealing with unique patients daily. To ensure accurate diagnosis, the medical professionals must communicate all details with the patients.
They must be inquired about their medical history and guided on how it will affect their current condition. If doctors and nurses don’t communicate with the patient, their diagnosis could lead to errors and risk the life of their patient. This is one of the main reasons why communication is crucial in ensuring the patient’s recovery.
Informed consent goes hand in hand to ensure the protection of patient rights. This is a process of obtaining permission from the patient before conducting any medical procedure. Physicians and other medical staff will document their diagnosis and required measures to update the patient on the next course of action during treatment.
As a patient, you must understand the consent document. Be it a minor or major surgery, it is a patient’s right to understand the nature of the treatment, the benefits, and the underlying risks.
However, in some cases, a patient with a history of drug abuse, mental problems, or disability will be considered incompetent for informed consent. When physicians face a patient with a history of drug abuse, the standard protocol is to inform the authorities.
But if, however, the patient is severe and needs urgent medical attention, physicians are required to treat the patient before informing the authorities.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY
The obligation of confidentiality is privileged by law that offers protection and limitation of the access of information between patient and healthcare professional. In other words, anything that patient discusses with the doctor must be kept private and cannot be revealed to another party.
However, this confidentiality has a few exceptions under the legal considerations of healthcare authorities. For instance, physicians can disclose the information if any patient wants to harm another person or even themselves.
It is important to note that the law of confidentiality applies to all types of communication. Be it verbal or written communication under documents or medical prescriptions, the patient and physician will be bound by legal obligation.
Moreover, child abuse is also exempt from the confidentiality and privacy rights of the patients. If a medical professional neglects child abuse may, is subject to civil prosecution. Cases with contagious diseases, gunshots, and knife wounds also give physicians the legal obligation to protect the patient’s life by notifying the medical association or law enforcement.
These were some of the most basic patient rights that may lead to severe legal implications upon breach. There are numerous other patient’s rights for the consent of treatment, medical research, and abandonment.
These rights are evolving with new rules and guidelines for both patients and medical professionals. But it is worth noting that every aspect of patient and physician rights comes with responsibilities for both parties.
Building mutual respect and honesty between the patient and healthcare workforce is critical to fulfilling each human rights aspect.