Health Information Scenario

“Mary  is  a  health  information  management  (HIM)  student  completing  a  clinical  practice  rotation  in  an  acute  care  hospital  in  her  community.  This  week  she  is  learning  about the release-of-information process. At the breakfast table, Mary’s mother asks her to  find  out  what  is  wrong  with  Ruth,  their  next-door  neighbor.  Ruth  has  been  admit-ted  to  the  hospital  twice  in  the  past  three  months, and Mary’s mother wants to know why.  While  processing  the  requests  for  release of information that afternoon, Mary comes  across  one  from  Ruth’s  insurance  company.  Mary  learns  that  Ruth  was  hospitalized due to physical abuse by her husband.  Mary  has  been  in  trouble  with  her  mother  recently.  She  knows  that  if  she  tells “”her  mother  this  information,  she  will  score  “big points.” She is very tempted to tell her mother the information she has learned. Later  that  same  day,  while  responding  to  another  request  for  information,  Mary  realizes  that  the  medical  record  she  is  reviewing belongs to Ron, her best friend’s fiancé.  Mary  learns  that  Ron  has  a  drug  abuse  problem  and  was  recently  diagnosed with HIV. Mary will be the maid of honor at the wedding of Ron and Patricia two months from now, and she knows that Patricia  does  not  know  about  Ron’s  problems.  Mary  becomes  worried  and  wonders whether she should tell her best friend what she has learned, because Ron’s conditions  could  affect  Patricia’s  health  and  the quality of her married life”

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