That's Private! How A Privacy Breach Becomes Medical Malpractice

For most people, when they think about medical malpractice, they think about mistakes made in diagnosis and treatment. However, medical malpractice goes far beyond just diagnosis and treatment. Medical malpractice can extend to any kind of mistakes made by your doctor, including breach of privacy. Here are a few things that you need to know about breach of privacy and your doctor.

What Is Privacy Breach Medical Malpractice?

Your relationship with your doctor is bound by HIPPA, which means sticking to some strict privacy rules. Any breach of this privacy can be seen as malpractice, but only if it can be proven. In order to recognize the signs of a privacy breach, you need to understand the possible violations. 

HIPPA requires that all patient information be kept confidential. Patient information can only be shared according to specific guidelines and only with patient permission. Understanding this is the first step toward recognizing when you might have a case.

What Kinds Of Privacy Violations Are There?

When it comes to the doctor-patient relationship, there are many privacy breaches that could qualify as medical malpractice. Sometimes, those breaches can be seemingly subtle but significant.

For example, if your doctor discusses your test results or diagnosis in front of other patients or even your family members without your permission, that is considered a breach of privacy. In addition, if your medical records are left accessible, whether left out on a nurse's desk or inadvertently left accessible to the public online, that is also grounds for a malpractice suit.

Any specific mentions of a patient's medical history in a document that's publicly available is also a breach of privacy. The same applies if your doctor discusses your medical information on social media in any way. 

How Do You Prove A Medical Privacy Violation As Malpractice?

Even if you can clearly show that there was a privacy violation, you still need to meet the standards of malpractice. In order to do so, you have to show that there was not only a breach, but that breach negatively affected you. It doesn't have to cause physical harm as some may believe, though.

If your medical information is not protected and someone begins a public discussion that affects your mental health and well-being, that can be enough to claim medical malpractice. However, you'll need the help of a medical malpractice attorney to build a sound case and ensure that you have the necessary documentation.