Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Privacy Rule is designed to equalize and standardize the amount of data security and privacy on the federal level. It eliminates the gaps in client confidentiality among various health information holding or transferring entities. It includes three major safeguards, such as administrative, physical, and technical security measures. The privacy rule also protects the patient’s economic interests. Information that a person has cancer, even with the caveat for recovery, is likely to limit career advancement or gaining an elected position. Divulging information that a psychiatrist or lawyer is HIV-infected can dramatically reduce the number of clients, although their carrier of the virus does not pose any risk to clients.
Confidentiality between the doctor and the patient is necessary to ensure frank communication. The patient, being exposed both physically and spiritually, must be convinced that this will not lead to undesirable consequences. Only confidence in strict observance of confidentiality ensures frankness, without which the implementation of normal professional activities of medical workers is impossible.
How effectively doctors are able to ensure the confidentiality of information depends on their image in the eyes of society and their popularity. Current legislation gives patients the right to choose a doctor and medical facility. Naturally, in a situation of choice, preference will be given to someone who, in addition to high professional qualities, demonstrates compliance with a high moral standard.
By protecting confidentiality, healthcare providers maintain trust with the patient. The concept of trust is broader than the concept of frankness. When, for example, in a hospital, a patient may be in a situation where, due to the unfavorable development of the disease or as a result of medical manipulations, control of his or her condition will be completely in the hands of doctors. The patient must trust doctors, believe that in all situations of this kind, they will be guided primarily by his or her interests.