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wateraddict

Doctor Patient Confidentiality

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I am wondering do physicians that have been practicing for decades really adhere to doctor patient confidentiality that strictly? 

 

In order to be specific would this be considered a breach of such confidentiality? 

 

I was at my family doctors office a few weeks back and after seeing my physician, I was handing over some forms to the receptionist and in the middle of this, another patient called and the receptionist picked up the phone. Supposedly the patient that called was coming into see the doctor. I'm guessing this patient has a history of wanting certain types of medication and the receptionist called the physician informing them, but in a very unprofessional manner "insert last name is coming, she probably misplaced her medication or wants some more etc. etc."

 

I just found it a little disconcerting that the receptionist knew so much about the patient's behaviour. Is it standard for doctors to inform receptionists about "difficult patients."

 

To be fair, I was at a walk in clinic once and there was a woman that was hysterical, crying and stuff and upon giving her health card to the receptionist, the receptionist stated that the woman isn't allowed to be treated at this clinic. I'm guessing for some breach of conduct on the patients part. 

 

Just curious to get some insight into this stuff. 

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"I just found it a little disconcerting that the receptionist knew so much about the patient's behaviour. Is it standard for doctors to inform receptionists about "difficult patients.""

Well, the receptionists play an integral role in the running of most clinics of the sorts -so maybe its not the doctor informing the receptionist at all and they just know the information from communication with the patients themselves. You know patients call the office all the time - and often most of the time field their requests through the MOA's right? They are definitely privy to a lot of information that the patients directly provide to them, and indirectly through doing their daily job.


I think before jumping the gun to reporting the clinic - you take a step back and learn more about how a clinic is run. While I am in no way saying that it was or was not a breach - I am saying is there are definitely other scenarios on how the information was obtained and its validity of being disseminated through on the job duties. 

 

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I really don't think anything wrong was done here.  You don't know that the patient hasn't directly dealt with the receptionist previously when discussing this matter.  Maybe the patient has said "can I make an appt with Dr. X, I lost my prescription".  Don't jump to conclusions and leave it be. 

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I'd be inclined to comment to the receptionist about the amount of information she was passing on in a public setting.

 

yeah, I mean there is a problem here even if it doesn't met some criteria for a college complaint (overkill). It is easy for receptionists who deal with this stuff for years to get a bit more sloppy with the rules after awhile, but privacy is important. The occasional reminder isn't a bad thing.

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To be honest, the complaint thing was more just to bump the thread. Nevertheless, there have been times when the physician has been right beside the receptionist and she's revealing similar information. Will casually mention it in the future.

 

Admins: Can you close/delete the thread? Don't want anyone to figure out, which physician I'm referring to.  

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