Mike Chapman
July 30, 2000
Final Project: Part 2
Team J

Legal/Ethics Compliance

As Legal/Ethical compliance officer, I have researched and discovered several legal matters that must be addressed and followed at Cyber Clinic™. Since we are a new company, we must first get proper legal trademark approval for Cyber Clinic™ (which is already in the works and is very close to approval). This is necessary to ensure protection of the intellectual property rights of our company.

This company will be the carrier of our customers very sensitive and personal medical information. Therefore, we must be protected from potentially massive lawsuits coming from anyone who believes their information to have been compromised. In the form that all customers will fill out and agree to when they join our clinic, we will include the proper legal clause letting the customer know that we will work very hard at keeping all personal information private and secure. This entails that data is only accessible by authorized personnel, i.e. their doctor and Cyber Clinic™ employees who need to administer the system. The customer will then have to agree that in the event that we have taken all the proper precautions and, beyond our control, any information is accessed by persons without the proper authorization, we cannot be sued. We note that we will assume legal obligation to investigate all incidents concerning this matter and work our hardest to make sure that this never happens again. We hope that this will never be necessary, though, because our Security/Privacy officer will be in charge of making sure that no patient data will ever be seen by any unauthorized person.

There is also the legal matter that we address concerning patient diagnosis and medical treatment. All doctors must sign an agreement when they become members of Cyber Clinic™ that certifies that they will take full legal responsibility for any misdiagnoses or erred prescription that they give out. We agree on our part that we will keep a record of all initiated transactions so that any errors that were not their fault, but that occurred due to technical reasons, will not be their liability.

Because we are dealing with medical transactions which access highly sensitive and personal patient information, our employees must comply with the ethical standards which we have agreed upon.

As professionals in the computing field, Cyber Clinic™ has made it a requirement of all employees that they become members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Membership dues for the ACM will be paid for by the company for as long as any person is employed by us. In order to be an employee here, employees must agree to follow the Code of Ethics of the ACM. Should an employee violate this Code, after review of the circumstances and incident, their employment may be terminated if deemed appropriate.

There are three parts of the code which are especially important to Cyber ClinicTM:

1. Avoid harm to others

In our system, patients will be relying on the system to help them when they are ill. Without the proper checks and care taken to assure system reliability, the potential for harm to patients of Cyber Clinic™ is considerable. This is why the Quality/Integrity Assurance Director and the Safety Engineer must both work together to ensure the highest degree of care is taken so that no patient of ours is harmed due to any preventable circumstances.

2. Respect the privacy of others

Maintained privacy of patient information is essential to the success of Cyber Clinic™. Without it, patients would have no reason to use our service. It is for this reason that all employees here must agree to nondisclosure of any patient information to which they should require access in order to maintain the integrity of the system. Should an employee not follow this piece of the Code, not only will their employment be terminated, but, as they agreed to when hired, legal action may be taken against them if information is let outside of the company.

Also, as stated by the ACM, patients will have the right to review the information that we have about them at anytime, and any discrepancies that they find will have to be taken up with our Customer Service Director.

3. Honor Confidentiality

The confidentiality of patient information is of utmost importance. As stated in the agreement we make with all patients when they sign up for our services, the confidentiality of their medical records will always be our primary concern. Our employees have been notified of this and have agreed to ensure that the confidentiality of this information should never be compromised to the best of their ability.

Due to its importance, this piece of the ACM Code is also made part of the agreement the doctors sign when they become members of Cyber Clinic™.

By following the ACM Code of Ethics and taking special care to follow the above three guidelines, we hope to ensure that patients can feel comfortable with using our service and hope that we never have to deal with the consequences of an employee who disregards the Code.