Patient Confidentiality

Patient Confidentiality

Spaulding is a member of the Partners HealthCare System. Partners is committed to providing you with quality healthcare and to forming a relationship with you that is built on trust. That means respecting the privacy and confidentiality of your medical information. We practice policies and procedures that allow access to your personal medical information only for purposes related to your medical care.

Download the full Partner's Privacy Healthcare Notice (PDF)

Your medical record

We are required to maintain a complete record of your medical history, current condition, treatment plan, and all diagnosis and treatment given, including the results of all tests, procedures, and therapies. Whether this information is stored in writing, on a computer, or other means, we will keep this information in a safe and secure way that protects your privacy and confidentiality. Of course, the physicians and other health care professionals who are involved in your care need to access this information to provide appropriate treatment for you.

Your medical information is private and confidential

You, or anyone to whom you give permission, or a legally designated representative, have the right to read or get a copy of your medical information. Your medical record is the physical property of the individual hospital or physician practice.

How do we assure your privacy?

Partners has put in place detailed policies regarding access to medical records by our staff and employees and has carefully outlined the circumstances under which your medical information may be released to parties outside the hospital or physician practice. These policies conform to state and federal law and are designed to safeguard your privacy. Our staff and employees are trained in the appropriate use of your protected health information (medical information) and know that it is available to them only to continue to provide care to you, obtain payment for care and for operations or for other limited but legitimate reasons. A violation of confidentiality or the failure of an employee to protect your information from accidental or unauthorized access will not be tolerated. This may include the employee being fired from his or her job. Failure to keep your information confidential could result in actions up to including an employee being fired from his or her job.

We ask for your permission

We do not allow others to access your medical information, unless we have the appropriate authorization or other legal basis to do so.  Some laws prevent certain types of patient information from being released without specific patient permission. Examples include, but are not limited to, communications between patient and psychotherapist or social worker, sexually transmitted disease test results or visit notes, HIV tests and related information, substance abuse rehabilitation treatment records, and sexual assault treatment records.

Note, however, that the law requires some information to be disclosed in certain circumstances

This includes mandatory reports of abuse of children, elderly people, or persons with disabilities. Medical records are sometimes used for reasons other than patient care. Records are periodically reviewed to evaluate the quality of care, or to be sure that the Partners organizations follow the rules of regulatory agencies such as Medicare or the Departments of Mental and of Public Health. Anyone reviewing records must follow the same confidentiality laws and rules required of all healthcare providers. Patient records are valuable tools used by researchers in finding the best possible treatments for diseases and medical conditions.

Researchers must also follow strict HIPAA rules to ensure the privacy of patient information and. information that may identify you.In all research conducted by Partners, concern for your privacy and your well-being is our first priority. If  you have questions about the privacy of your medical records, please speak with your physician, case manager or the Privacy Officer at one of the facilities throughout the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.

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