Explain the importance of patient privacy. How can one protect the privacy of one’s health records? How can one prove that one’s medical privacy was violated? What can be done if one thinks that one’s medical privacy was violated?
Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
Beauchamp & Childress (2009) cite, “beneficence is a group of norms pertaining to relieving, lessening, or preventing harm and providing benefits and balancing benefits against risk and cost” (p.13). Health care organizations often employ risk benefit analysis data as a means to weigh the risk of harm associated with creating a new service sector. An example would be a long-term care organization offering their patients in-house physical therapy and the benefits of such to both their patients and the health care organization, with the possible harm associated with a new service and an increase in malpractice law suits. It is important to note that decision makers employ a vast array of analysis centered on both qualitative and quantitative data before final decisions are made. Nonmaleficence is a necessary component regarding physical therapy departments and centers on the caregiver not inflicting harm (Beauchamp & Childress 2009). A primary example would be residents receiving physical therapy (PT) after knee or hip replacement surgery. The physical therapist must be conscious of the possibility of inflicting harm through over rotation and weight bearing issues. The question often remains for many facilities, are the risks and costs of inflicting possible harm outweighed by the benefits of possible positive health care outcomes for their residents and the surrounding community. Long-term care organizations often juggle beneficence and nonmaleficence issues as they try to provide improved access and quality health care to their residents.
In-House vs. External Physical Therapy
Over the next twenty years the baby boomers will expect a greater degree of services and in-house physical therapy departments will be no exception.
Applying principles of beneficence, the physical therapy departments are responsible for a vast array of duties regarding the emotional and physical stability of the residents. These duties include strategic care plans coordinated with RN’s in order to reduce the possibility of inflicting harm (nonmaleficence) and seeing to resident family needs such as long-term care education, and realistic expectations of care. Physical therapy department’s primary objective is to present to the resident and their family easy access to quality short and long-term care physical restoration processes. Yet a consistent component of care pertaining to nursing homes often centers on the emotional rehabilitation process that is often needed after joint replacement surgeries, falls resulting in fractured hips, legs, and arms. With proper PT (physical therapy), nutrition, and emotional guidance, the residents are often able to return home within 30 to 90 days. If long-term care organizations did not offer in-house physical therapy, many residents such as individuals on Medicaid would not have the monetary means to obtain therapy outside of the nursing facility. Therefore, the administrator and board of directors mus
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