Date Approved

5-12-1998

Embargo Period

8-12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Litwin, Larry

Subject(s)

Communication in management; Confidential communications--Physicians; Hospitals--Employees--In-service training; Medical records--Access control

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

Depending on a patient's illness, as many as 100 health professionals and administrative personnel may have access to the hospital record, all with a legitimate reason. Many people are understandably concerned about confidentiality because of the range of information in medical records that is often necessary to ensure an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment -- including very personal information about a person's physical, mental, and sometimes even emotional well-being. This thesis examined how 20 Delaware Valley hospitals communicate their patient confidentiality policies to their employees. The survey specifically asked the channels through which their confidentiality policies are communicated (i.e. training programs or memos) as well as what messages are communicated. The results were recorded through percentages. Based on results, it appears that patient confidentiality is taken seriously in most hospitals and specific measures have been implemented to ensure that hospital employees understand just how easily confidentiality can be breached and how it can be protected.

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