Any information concerning a patient´s condition, treatment, personal affairs, or records shall be kept confidential. Such information may be release only through, or with the approval of, the patient, or when completed to do so by law. Normally, the attending physician must also grant permission for release of information.
Our hospital staff are constantly reminded of their responsibility for protecting patient information. They are made aware that even casual conversations with other employees may be overheard, thereby violating the patient´s right to privacy. We believe that not only is the release of patient information (deliberate of accidental) unethical, but also could subject the employee to disciplinary action and possible legal charges.
Our appropriate officers advice their subordinates that failure to comply with the hospital´s confidentiality policy could subject them to disciplinary action. To further emphasize the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of patient information, our Hospital Administrator shares the responsibility for ensuring that all employees abide by this policy.
Communication and Releases of Patient Information
It is the policy of the International Hospital of Bahrain, except for acknowledgement of admission and a general statement of condition, not to release any other patient information without the patient´s permission. In some circumstances, in fact, the Hospital may require written permission. This is a necessary precaution the hospital observes to safeguard the file, health, and legal rights of patients.
If a member of the news media requests patient information and the patient´s condition permits, the physician or Hospital representative shall ask the patient if he/she will allow information to be divulged. The patient´s decision is final. If the patient is a minor, permission shall be obtained from a parent or guardian. The same principle applies to our Web Nursery where a parent must consent to the inclusion of a baby´s picture. In the event parents actually approve, only the baby´s given name and the neonatal measurements shall be posted online.
Hospital Cases of Public Record
Cases of public record are those Hospital cases that by law must be reported to public authorities. These includes people held under police surveillance or arrest, persons brought to the Hospital by the fire department or any law enforcement agency, cases reportable to government agencies, such as those that involve shooting, stabbing, poisoning, and injury by automobile.
Cases Other Than Those of Public Record
If an inquiry is received about a patient whose case is not of public record, and if the patient is conscious and can communicate, the patient shall be asked whether he/she will permit any information to be reported. The patient´s decision is final.
The Administrator may give permission to photograph patients only if the attending physician indicates that the patient´s condition will not be jeopardized by the activity.
Further, the written consent of the patient, or in case of a minor the patient´s parent or guardian must be obtained and filed permanently in the patient´s chart.
Updating This Policy
This policy was effective on May 5, 2005