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Medical Records and Patient Confidentiality

Patient confidentiality is a cornerstone in Physician Assistant practice and essential for establishing and maintaining the patient-provider relationship built on trust.

MS-PAS learners are privileged to learn information that patients share only with healthcare professionals and be present in very personal moments of patients’ lives. Patients, in turn, trust that MS-PAS learners will preserve their confidentiality; as a key component of medical professionalism, MS-PAS learners must honor this trust.

Learners are not to discuss a patient in any manner or situation that would reveal any information about that patient to any person not directly involved in the patient’s health care. Learners must refrain from discussing patients in public places, (i.e. cafeterias, elevators, etc.) where conversations may be overheard. Learners should remind those who may be inappropriately discussing patient information, about patient confidentiality.

Learners will adhere to ethical principles and use practical reasoning when dealing with patients at all times. No learner should medically treat other MS-PAS learners, friends, or family members while a learner is in the MS-PAS Program. All learners will receive formal instruction on and must follow the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) rules when participating in clinical activities at affiliated hospitals and clinics; HIPAA compliance includes maintaining confidentiality of paper and electronic health records. When violations of HIPAA by a learner are identified by a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, etc., the violation will be reviewed by the Academic and Professional Performance Review Committee. Disciplinary actions may which include remediation and/or sanctions, including the possibility of dismissal from the program.